06 Dec 2013

Alleged Bitcoin Miners Arrested in Germany

Two men have been arrested in relation to bitcoin mining worth 700,000 euros and another is being brought under charges. They are accused of commercial fraud, according to Coindesk and The Federal Criminal Police of Germany.

The first two suspects were arrested in Bavaria and Lower Saxony in a raid by the GSG-9 counter-terrorism unit on the night of Dec. 2.

For the third suspect there was no warrant, but employing a counter-terrorism unit may mean that the Federal Criminal Police of Germany is taking internet financial fraud very seriously and they are going to pay more attention to this particular area.

“Digital currencies like bitcoin will be tracked by law enforcement agencies in the future,” said Jorg Ziercke, chief commissioner of the Federal Criminal Police of Germany. “The relative anonymity of these currencies facilitates money laundering and minimizes risk of detection.”

The group allegedly created a “botnet” by altering existing malware and releasing it on the internet. After compromising a few systems, they gained access to a more powerful “botnet” and collected personal information from the affected computers and networks.

Police estimate 700,000 euros worth of bitcoin were mined. The group is also accused of pornographic material distribution and copyright violations after police gained access to other evidence during the raid.