German authorities are cracking down on several allegedly illicit cryptocurrency-related operations in the country.
BaFin, Germany’s financial regulatory authority, has begun shuttering crypto ATMs run by KKT UG, CoinDesk reported.
The watchdog told KKT UG CEO Adam Gramowski to cease crypto trading business in Germany back in February for reportedly operating without a trading or banking license.
The crypto company operates 17 of the 67 bitcoin ATMs in Germany, according to CoinDesk.
Meanwhile, the German Federal Criminal Police Office police seized over $32,9 million worth of cryptocurrency from the head operators of movie2k.to, a movie streaming website, according to CoinTelegraph. The police worked with the FBI to trace and identify the Bitcoin involved.
The Dresden Public Prosecutor’s Office, State Criminal Police Office in Saxony and Leipzig Tax Investigation Department confiscated the Bitcoin and will be used as damage reparation by the public prosecutor.
The site’s two head operators allegedly distributed over 880,000 pirated movie copies from 2013 to 2018 and have allegedly used the site’s ad and subscription revenue to buy real estate and Bitcoin.
Movie2k.to was shut down in the Spring of 2013 over copyright infringement issues. The site’s programmer has been in police custody since November of 2019 and has reportedly confessed to the charges, CoinTelegraph said. He has agreed to hand over the Bitcoin and is reportedly helping authorities find the second operator, who remains elusive.
The programmer is also suspected of commercial money laundering over his real estate business dealings.
Cryptocurrency-related criminal activity continues to be on the rise in 2020, used in transactions on the black market, dark web and cyberattacks. The illicit activity makes up 1 percent of Bitcoin transactions, double from 2018, PYMNTS reported in January.