Norwegian police agency Økokrim has announced the seizure of 60 million NOK (about $5.84 million) worth of cryptocurrency stolen by the Lazarus Group in March 2022 following the Axie Infinity Ronin Bridge hack. "This case shows that we also have a great capacity to follow the money on the blockchain, even if the criminals use advanced methods," the agency said in a statement.
The development comes more than 10 months after the U.S. Treasury Department implicated the North Korea-backed hacking group for the theft of $620 million from the Ronin cross-chain bridge. Then in September 2022, the U.S. government announced the recovery of more than $30 million worth of cryptocurrency, representing 10% of the stolen funds. Økokrim said it worked with international law enforcement partners to follow and piece together the money trail, thereby making it more difficult for criminal actors to carry out money laundering activities.
"This is money that can support North Korea and their nuclear weapons programme," it further added. "It has therefore been important to track the cryptocurrency and try to stop the money when they try to withdraw it in physical assets."
The development comes as crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi froze accounts containing approximately $1.4 million in digital currency that originated from the June 2022 hack of Harmony's Horizon Bridge.