Norwegian Authorities Seize $5.9M From Crypto Game Axie Infinity Hack

The economic crime unit said it is the biggest crypto seizure ever made by Norwegian police.

AccessTimeIconFeb 16, 2023 at 10:03 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 16, 2023 at 3:42 p.m. UTC

Authorities in Norway seized 60 million krone (US$5.9 million) stolen from crypto game Axie Infinity in March of last year.

The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, or Økokrim, said it is the biggest crypto seizure ever made by Norwegian police.

"This case shows that we have a great capacity to follow the money on the blockchain, even if the criminals use advanced methods," First State Attorney Marianne Bender said in a statement.

In March hackers linked to North Korea stole over $600 million from Axie Infinity, laundering much of the proceeds through privacy mixer Tornado Cash, which was subsequently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.

A February 2023 United Nations report said that actors linked to North Korea stole as much as $1 billion in crypto last year, with most attacks carried out by groups controlled by the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North's Korea's primary intelligence agency. These include teams known by names such as Lazarus, Andariel and Kimsuky.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said North Korea uses the thefts to support its ballistic missile and Weapons of Mass Destruction programs.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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