- Norwegian police have seized around $5.9 Million in cryptocurrency in the Axie case.
- It is the biggest crypto seizure that Norwegian police have ever made.
Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim), published a press release yesterday. That mentioned about the largest cash seizures made in the country. This crypto seizure was made in connection with Okokrim’s investigation into the digital attack against the company Sky Mavis and the game Axie Infinity.
It must be noted that Okokrim is the main source of specialist skills for the police and the prosecuting authorities in their combat against crime of this kind. It is both a police specialist agency and a public prosecutors’ office with national authority.
The crypto seizure in Axie case
The First State Attorney Marianne Bender said that “Okokrim are good at following money. This case shows that they also have a great capacity to follow the money on the blockchain, even if the criminals use advanced methods.”
As per the press release, in March 2022, five billion Norwegian kroner in cryptocurrency was stolen from the game. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the North Korean hacker group Lazarus is behind this whole mess. Immediately after the attack, the hackers started a large-scale money laundering operation, with highly sophisticated methods, which they are still following.
The collaboration across time zone
Over time, Okokrim has worked to track proceeds from theft together with international partners. Okokrim along with its partners have followed the money laundering process around the clock. And this is how Okokrim has managed to follow much of the money and made money laundering quite more difficult for the hackers.
Bender further said that “they work with FBI specialists on tracking cryptocurrency. Such cooperation between countries means that they as a society stand stronger in the fight against digital, profit-motivated crime.”
Preventing the money from being used for misuse
It can be seen that the aim of the money launderers is to get the cryptocurrency out into other values that can be used in the physical world. As Bender noted “this is money that can support North Korea and their nuclear weapons programme. It has therefore been important to track the cryptocurrency and try to stop the money when they try to withdraw it in physical value.”
The press release also stated that “Okokrim will continue to follow the money laundering process of the hackers and try to stop and confiscate money they try to withdraw in the physical world in the future.”
The seizure originates from money stolen from the game Axie Infinity, and going forward Okokrim will communicate with the company Sky Mavis so that the aggrieved get the money back to the greatest extent possible. At last Okokrim mentioned that it is satisfied with the cooperation with the FBI and the US Department of Justice in this case.