Norwegian authorities, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), have allegedly seized about $6 million that was stolen in last year’s Axie Infinity heist. “It is the biggest crypto seizure Norwegian police have ever made,” said Norway’s Økokrim.
Norway and FBI Recoup Some Stolen Funds From Axie Infinity Attack
Økokrim, Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, announced Thursday that it has seized 60 million kroner (approximately $5.8 million) in crypto in connection with the attack against Axie Infinity and Sky Mavis, the company that developed the non-fungible token (NFT)-based online video game.
The Norwegian authority explained that in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):
Økokrim has seized close to NOK 60 million in cryptocurrency. It is the biggest crypto seizure Norwegian police have ever made.
“We work with FBI specialists on tracking cryptocurrency. Such cooperation between countries means that we as a society stand stronger in the fight against digital, profit-motivated crime,” First State Attorney Marianne Bender commented. However, Økokrim did not provide details of the seizure.
Axie Infinity suffered an attack in March last year after the Ronin network validators were compromised. The reported loss was $620 million at the time. “The attacker managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin Validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO,” Sky Mavis said.
According to the FBI, the North Korean hacker group Lazarus was behind the heist. The hackers began a large-scale and sophisticated money laundering operation immediately after the attack, Økokrim detailed.
In May last year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned crypto mixer Blender.io. The Treasury Department explained that Blender was used in the laundering process for North Korea’s Axie Infinity heist, processing over $20.5 million in illicit proceeds.
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A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.
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