Police in New Zealand Confiscate Millions as Movie Piracy Investigation Heats Up

Police in New Zealand Confiscate Millions as Movie Piracy Investigation Heats Up 1
Police in New Zealand Confiscate Millions as Movie Piracy Investigation Heats Up 1

The New Zealand police authorities have confiscated the sum of $6.7 million in cryptocurrency as it heats up its investigation into money laundering. The sum of $1.1 million was also seized in cash during the raid. In a report from local media, a man from the city of Hamilton was said to have received the so-called funds from a movie piracy website based in the United States.

The man was also said to have been the one who helped establish the website. PayPal was involved as it noticed strange activity on an account connected to the man. PayPal promptly raised an alarm and brought the issue to the attention of the IRS.

Anytime New Zealand, fund confiscation, content piracy issue and American authorities are involved, there is one name that often comes to mind. This is Kim Dotcom, the brain behind the defunct platform Megaupload. But as it appears, this latest investigation has nothing to do with Dotcom. If anything at all, it shows that there are some others like Dotcom who are also being observed or investigated in both the United States and New Zealand.

More Discoveries

In the middle f the year, Jaron David McIvor became the subject of another investigation. The software programmer was visited by police officers in New Zealand. It had to do with the investigation of a movie piracy issue in the United States. Not until the police visited him on at least a couple of times that Ivor finally gave up and released the sum of $1.1 million in cash. He also handed over the keys to his digital currency accounts. The accounts were found to be cash nests containing near $6.7 million – a hefty amount by any standard.

Police in New Zealand Confiscate Millions as Movie Piracy Investigation Heats Up

This case was announced to the general public by NZHerald. What makes the case really remarkable is that it is all about money laundering and the authorities are handling it with all seriousness. Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay is the one heading the Asset Recovery Unit in Waikato. Kay revealed that McIvor assisted in the establishment of a movie piracy website in the United States. For this, he got a princely sum of about $2 million.

It was also discovered that the deposits were made into several platforms. Bank accounts via wire transfers, PayPal and Stripe were all used. However, it was PayPal that paid enough attention to realize that there was something strange going on with the account of McIvor. Without wasting time, the issue was reported to the Internal Revenue Service in the United States of America.

Owing to the fact that the funds were believed to have stemmed from criminal activities in the United States, transferring the funds into New Zealand was enough to trigger. An investigation into possible money laundering was launched and this eventually led to the seizure of funds this year. For now, the name of the co-founder of the pirate site remains unnamed. But the police have revealed that other people are also investigated in Canada, the United States, and Vietnam over the same issue.

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A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.