In March of last year, a sum of 60 million krone (equivalent to US$5.9 million) that was taken from the cryptocurrency game Axie Infinity was confiscated by officials in Norway.
According to Økokrim, the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway, this is the largest seizure of cryptocurrency ever carried out by the Norwegian police.
In a statement, Marianne Bender, the First State Attorney, expressed that this incident demonstrates their capability to trace money flow on the blockchain, even when criminals utilize sophisticated techniques.
During March, hackers associated with North Korea pilfered more than $600 million from Axie Infinity. They then launder a significant portion of the stolen funds through Tornado Cash, a privacy mixer later sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.
According to a report from the United Nations in February 2023, individuals connected to North Korea were responsible for stealing up to $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency in the previous year. The majority of these cyberattacks were carried out by groups under the control of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is the primary intelligence agency of North Korea. Some of the teams responsible for the attacks are known by various names, such as Lazarus, Andariel, and Kimsuky.
As per the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), North Korea utilizes the proceeds from these thefts to finance its ballistic missile and Weapons of Mass Destruction programs.