Australian police officer faced charges for supposedly taking 81 bitcoins during raid


A federal police officer from Australia has denied claims that he stole Bitcoin from a hardware wallet at the site of the crime and sent the cryptocurrency to Binance.

The Australian National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has charged a federal police officer with removing 81.62 bitcoins from a Trezor hardware wallet found at the scene of a crime. According to the police, he allegedly took custody of the bitcoins after using crypto tracking software.

Australian authorities reportedly uncovered the hardware wallet during a narcotics search at a property, but they had to wait three weeks for court approval before they could access it, according to a recent article. It turns out that the wallet was empty when they checked it; federal agent William Wheatley reportedly moved the bitcoins out of the wallet soon after the raid.

According to the allegations, the hardware wallet had 81.62 Bitcoin, which was worth $309,000 when the attack took place in 2019. But its value is at $4.2 million USD as of this writing.

The police first suspected a gang member’s accomplice of stealing Bitcoin, according to cybercrime squad detective Sergeant Deon Achtypis.

Police suspicions were heightened when they found a device that had the seed phrase for the hardware wallet. This is a string of 12 to 24 randomly selected words that may be used as a recovery technique in the event that the wallet is stolen or misplaced.

Achtypis reportedly discovered a connection to Wheatley after conducting a thorough study into the IP addresses used to access the stolen Bitcoin using crypto tracing software.

In order to combat illegal activities involving digital assets, law enforcement agencies worldwide are using crypto tracking software.

The Canadian police force began using Chainalysis Reactor software in August 2023 to assist in the tracing of criminal cryptocurrency transactions.

The recovery rate of stolen cryptocurrency is also on the rise, thanks to developments in cryptographic detective software. More than 600 large-scale crypto attacks in 2023 recovered over $674 million, according to a report by Cointelegraph on January 29.

Accusations of using his official role for private benefit, theft, and connection with criminal proceeds have Wheatley pleading innocence.

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