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Founder of Shuttered Web Site Sought Limelight

Friday, January 20, 2012

BERLIN — Some alien guests showed up at Kim Dotcom’s abode alfresco Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday: the police, in two helicopters.

They had an arrest accreditation for Mr. Dotcom, 37, who was built-in Kim Schmitz and is accused by United States authorities with bent absorb contravention through the Web armpit Megaupload, which he founded.

Finding their ambition was not easy. Back Mr. Dotcom, who holds Finnish and German citizenship, aboriginal saw the police, he ran axial and activated several cyberbanking locks, allotment of the estate’s adult aegis system. As the badge fabricated their way through those, he barricaded himself in a safe room. Officers cut their way through to get him, continuing abreast a firearm that they said looked like a button shotgun.

“It was absolutely not as simple as animadversion at the advanced door,” said Grant Wormald, a detective inspector.

In what the American authorities accept alleged one of the better bent absorb cases anytime brought, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. shut bottomward and instigated the arrest of Mr. Dotcom and three added bodies in New Zealand. In all, seven bodies affiliated with the armpit were answerable with active an all-embracing action based on Internet piracy.

The arrests appear in the average of a altercation over Congressional efforts in the United States to abbreviate Internet piracy.

Megaupload, a alleged locker service, allows users to alteration ample files like movies and music anonymously over the Internet, and media companies accept continued complained that some files are actuality transferred in abuse of absorb law.

A admirable board allegation says seven bodies in all were allotment of a bent cabal involving Megaupload, charging anniversary with bristles counts of absorb contravention and conspiracy. The accessible amends is 20 years in prison. The allegation says Megaupload acquired $500 actor in amercement to absorb owners and fabricated $175 actor by affairs ads and exceptional subscriptions.

Megaupload’s advocate has said that “the government is amiss on the facts, amiss on the law.”
The badge in New Zealand said they were continuing to chase the Auckland property. In all, about 20 chase warrants affiliated to the case were accomplished in the United States and in eight added countries, including New Zealand.

About $50 actor in assets were additionally seized, as able-bodied as a cardinal of servers and 18 area names that formed Megaupload’s arrangement of file-sharing sites. The badge said they bedeviled 6 actor New Zealand dollars ($4.8 million) in affluence vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé and a blush 1959 Cadillac. They additionally bedeviled art and cyberbanking accessories and froze 11 actor dollars in banknote in assorted accounts.

The arrest of Mr. Dotcom, the axial amount in the case, was not his aboriginal appointment with the law.
In February 2001, Mr. Dotcom told Die Welt that he had spent three months in a Munich bastille in 1994 and had served two years’ acquittal for breaking into Pentagon computers and celebratory real-time accessory photos of Saddam Hussein’s palaces during the Persian Gulf war of 1991. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Dotcom accustomed a abeyant two-year book for a blackmail that fabricated use of baseborn buzz agenda numbers.

In 2001, at the acme of the dot-com hysteria, Mr. Dotcom was accused in what was again the better insider-trading case in German history. Prosecutors in Munich said he bought shares in a disturbing online business,, again appear that he planned to accomplish a above advance in the aggregation and accomplishment it from insolvency.

Mr. Dotcom reportedly fabricated added than $1 actor back the shares soared.
Around that time, Mr. Dotcom, again still activity by his above name, acknowledged the accusations ascent adjoin him during an actualization on the Harald Schmidt Show, a accepted late-night allocution appearance in Germany.

“It is accurate that I action a lot of accessible abut to advance because of my affairs and the accessible way I alive with my success,” a adapted Mr. Dotcom, with a aggregation cut and atramentous clothing, said. “It’s bright that that’s why bodies are attractive for things to adhere on me.”

Mr. Dotcom eventually fled Germany to escape those accuse but was captured in Thailand, extradited and bedevilled in 2002. He spent bristles months in bastille apprehension balloon but accustomed a abeyant book on the basal charges.

Mr. Dotcom alone from appearance until aftermost year, back German newspapers started advertisement rumors of his affluence admixture in New Zealand and accessible captivation in Megaupload.

In the German television interview, which is acquaint on YouTube, Mr. Dotcom attributed the rumors bouncing about him to a German addiction to backbiting those who accept more. “If I were in the United States, I would be aloof one of abounding with my affairs and would not draw any absorption to myself,” Mr. Dotcom said.

Mr. Dotcom and the three others who were arrested in New Zealand appeared in cloister Friday afternoon and were denied bail. Extradition affairs will abide Monday.

The badge said the added men arrested in New Zealand were Finn Batato, 38, a German aborigine and resident; Mathias Ortmann, 40, a German aborigine who is a aborigine of Hong Kong; and Bram van der Kolk, 29, a Dutch aborigine who is a aborigine of New Zealand.

Jonathan Hutchison contributed advertisement from Dunedin, New Zealand; Jack Ewing from Frankfurt; and Ben Sisario from New York.
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