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Megaupload founder hid from cops in panic room

The Local · 21 Jan 2012, 14:39

Published: 21 Jan 2012 14:39 GMT+01:00

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Investigator Grant Wormald said police had to saw open the room to reach Schmitz.

"Once they were in the room, they found Dotcom near a weapon that looked like a saw-off shotgun," he said, in a statement issued on Saturday.

Schmitz was living in a mansion in Coatesville, north of Auckland, New Zealand, which was raided by police.

Officers flew in with two helicopters to conduct the raid but upon their arrival, Schmitz locked all doors to the house electronically. "While police disabled the locks, he barricaded himself inside a special room in the house," Wormald said.

The 37-year-old Schmitz is due to be extradited to the United States. The US Justice Department has accused him and six others, including three Germans, of earning more than US$175 million (€135.6 million) illegally.

The Megaupload site has since been shut down. It allowed users to upload files, including copyrighted material, which could then be shared for free on the Internet.

The site was popular because it facilitated the distribution of television shows, music and movies – often before they were even released. The government charged that the site would selectively comply with takedown requests by copyright holders to maintain a veneer of legality, while illegal content remained on the site.

Story continues below…

Police confiscated several luxury cars, including a Rolls Royce Phantom and a 1959 Cadillac, as well as paintings and account documents.

DPA/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:15 January 21, 2012 by AustinHoffman
That's sad...since it's all BS...SOPA/PIPA were junk + MU arrest was unfair + I don't think swizz he has any legal connections to MU...imo it was all fabbed up to get other celebrity endorsements.

p.s. looks like someone is pissed - FBI vs ANONYMOUS video:

11:10 January 22, 2012 by Craptastic
I guess fat boy realized he was going to end up somebody's bitch in prison! Hahaha! He will be receiving some "megauploads" while he spend some time in that federal pen!
17:21 January 22, 2012 by raandy
I get around a bit on the internet but I never heard of these guys before the bust.

@ Craptastic , no these guys were total non violent , they will get a Federal Prison Camp better know among its inmates as "Club Fed" ,the up loads they get will be the ones they want, they will get time on the tennis court and movies on weekends

They can walk out of the place at will. , Ya they lost a big cash cow but there time will be EASY.,
09:20 January 24, 2012 by moistvelvet
So when are they going to raid all those places in Hong Kong that produce pirate copies of films and music? I'm confused, since when did US copyright law become global? What about all the legitimate users that had their own files on a personal Megaupload account, if the US government has taken these files, surely that is a theft too?
13:18 January 24, 2012 by Craptastic
@moistvelvet: Well, we could start with the Berne Treaty, the three WIPO treaties and the WTO treaty, but surely you knew all of those existed before you sat to type, right?
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