AN OXFORD man was arrested at his home this morning after a Europe-wide operation into the theft of around €10m in cryptocurrency.

Officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) arrested the 36-year-old, who has not been named, on suspicion of fraud, theft and money laundering offences.

A video shared by SEROCU on Twitter shows officers raiding the property, taking drugs, cash and electrical equipment, before leading the man away.

The operation was launched following the theft of around €10m in 'IOTA' cryptocurrency from more than 85 victims world-wide since January last year.

SEROCU led the investigation alongside colleagues from the State Criminal Police of Hesse, in Germany, and Europol, with support from the National Crime Agency.

At the beginning of 2018, Hesse State Police received several reports that money had been stolen from residents' cryptocurrency wallets.

Read again: Thames Valley Police approve tax hike bill but stations set to close 

Further investigations revealed the website was fraudulently targeting users of the IOTA cryptocurrency.

IOTA wallets are protected by an 81-digit seed, which can be generated on several sites online, but among these sites was a malicious seed-generator running on

Several victims created the seed on this website believing it was genuine, but the seeds were stored in the background by the service provider.

Oxford Mail:

The criminal later used this to gain access to the victims’ wallets, transferring the money to other wallets created with fake IDs. 

In July 2018, German authorities identified a possible suspect behind the fraud case living in the UK.

The case was given to the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), where J-CAT coordinated the cooperation between the relevant EU Member States. 

Read again: Grooming gang who raped and sexually abused schoolgirl jailed for life

An operational meeting also took place at Europol’s headquarters between German and British investigators and Europol’s EC3, which led to this arrest.

Detectives were eventually led to believe the arrested man was living in Oxford.

Several computers and electrical goods were seized from the property this morning, alongside drugs and cash. Computers were forensically examined at the scene.

Oxford Mail:

The man has been taken into custody for questioning as part of the 'intricate' investigation.

Detectives have appealed for anyone who thinks they might be a victim of cryptocurrency theft to contact police.

Read again: Woman taken to hospital after attempted rape in Witney

Detective inspector Rob Bryant, from SEROCU’s Cyber and Digital Forensics unit, said: “This has been an intricate investigation into the theft of huge sums of money from victims across the world, and 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.

“Our attention will now turn to interviewing the man arrested and our highly-trained team will be assessing the seized electrical goods to identify any further evidence of criminal behaviour.”

Police inspector Matthias Krekeler, from the State Criminal Police of Hesse, Cybercrime Investigations unit, said: “The investigation was only successful because of the exceptional and sophisticated collaboration of international authorities, companies and IOTA community members.”