Oxford man arrested over £8.7m cryptocurrency theft

Bitcoin's price has been extremely volatile over the last few months Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The theft involved the lesser-known IOTA cryptocurrency

A man has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, theft and money laundering after £8.7m in cryptocurrency was stolen from 85 people.

The Europe-wide investigation involved state police from Hesse in Germany, Europol and the National Crime Agency.

Police arrested a 36-year-old man in Oxford on Wednesday and seized computers, drugs and cash.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) said the man remained in police custody.

It added that the alleged offences involved the IOTA cryptocurrency and had happened since January 2018.

'Other victims'

Det Insp Rob Bryant, from SEROCU, said: "This has been an intricate investigation into the theft of huge sums of money from victims across the world.

"We have been grateful for the support of our European colleagues.

"The offences have taken place over an extended period, and it's likely that there are other victims out there.

"We would urge them to contact their local police force to report the matter."

Matthias Krekeler, of the State Criminal Police in Hesse, said the arrest was only possible thanks to the "sophisticated collaboration of international authorities".

He added that the investigation had also been helped by "IOTA community members".

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites