As reported by the New Zealand Herald, hackers stole 1.34 Bitcoins worth $45,000 (worth $32,000 at the time of theft) from the New Zealand police crypto wallet at the current exchange rate. Reportedly, this wallet will be used in a money laundering investigation.
New Zealand police lost Bitcoin (BTC)
Detective Superintendent Stuart Mills, director of response and technology operations for the National Criminal Investigation Group, said: “Police are committed to learning from this incident and implementing strong processes to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Mills said the police bought Bitcoin for $32,000 to be used in an investigation. In late 2020, he reported that it was noticed that the money was gone. The money was fraudulently obtained from a police Bitcoin wallet during a money laundering operation.
Therefore, the police intended to use BTC in a clandestine and controlled purchase of illegal drugs. However, someone outside the police or a community has taken control of the private keys needed to access the wallet and have withdrawn the cryptocurrencies for themselves. Police still don’t know who stole the BTC, but Mills said the suspects lived abroad and this incident was part of a wider scam targeting Bitcoin wallets. “The culprits have not yet been identified,” the official said.
New Zealand police are no strangers to cryptocurrency transactions
The most likely option, according to experts, was for a controlled purchase to go wrong and the people the police tried to trap disappear with the money without supplying the goods or services. Investigations into where the money went and how the perpetrators obtained the private key are still ongoing.
It is worth noting that the police are not completely unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies. Cryptocoin. com
As we reported , last year, authorities in New Zealand released a warrant from Alexander Vinnik, the alleged operator of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, who will be sentenced to five years in prison for a crypto-based ransomware scam. He had seized approximately $90 million worth of BTC.