In the wake of the massive Bitcoin price appreciation and crypto adoption, the increased cases of scams have started to pile up everywhere. However, the latest crypto heist that occurred in New Zealand took the crypto scams to a whole new level. The local news outlet from New Zealand Herald reveals that the Bitcoin wallet from the police department has been emptied.
This news is shocking for many, but it also raises many questions on the integrity and operational capabilities of Police institutions worldwide. Many countries are taking a defensive approach to the matter of crypto scams and crimes. When any police department receives a complaint about online scam transactions, they are not equipped with the right tools and skills to address the issue in most cases.
As reported by New Zealand Herald, the threat actors managed to get hold of the Bitcoin wallets that were held by the National Organized Crime Group. The report further reveals that the said Bitcoin wallet was set up to be employed in a sting operation aimed at uncovering illicit drug purchases.
Detective Stuart Mills told the media that the threat actors likely hail from overseas. The said Bitcoin heist was part of a broader scam that targeted a series of digital wallets in the vicinity. Further investigation would shed light on how the hackers were able to get hold of the wallets’ private keys.
New Zealand Police Department was Unable to Secure their Digital Wallet Despite having Experience
Another important point raised by the reporters in the New Zealand Herald is that the NOCG unit and NZ Police department was not dealing with cryptocurrencies for the first time. In 2020, the police arrested and intercepted a massive crypto exchange scam. The mastermind of the scam, Alexander Vinnik, was running a fake exchange platform called Bitcoin-e.
He managed to rake in about $90 million in fraud money. While last year was a great win for the police authorities, it seems this year seems to present them with a few challenges. Vinnik is serving five years in prison for running ransomware-based crypto operations. The police need to upgrade the technical expertise and support for dealing with such crimes in the future.