British Suspect Arrested for EUR 10M Crypto Theft in Germany

By Warren Hayes | January 28, 2019
British Suspect Arrested for EUR 10M Crypto Theft in Germany

A 36-year-old British man has been arrested on suspicion of a string of crypto thefts in Germany amounting to EUR 10 million ($11.39 million) worth in IOTA tokens being stolen from 85 victims worldwide.

The arrest comes after an investigation by EU law enforcement agency Europol together with the British and German police following reports of thefts from IOTA wallets in Germany. The thefts occurred in January 2018 when the thief targeted users of a now-defunct website that utilized IOTA wallets. These wallets were secured by 81-digit security seeds created by the website.

Europol said, “Several victims created the seed on this website in good faith, however the seeds were stored in the background by the service provider. Later the criminal used these to gain access to the victims’ wallets and transferred their money to other wallets created with fake IDs.”

The British suspect was arrested on suspicion of fraud, theft, and money laundering. CoinDesk noted that Europol had warned against crypto related thefts and hacks back in September 2018 amidst the growing criminal abuse of financial technology.

In April 2018, Europol arrested 11 people for laundering over EUR 8 million ($9.2 million) out of Spain and into Columbia via a Finnish crypto exchange.

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