In a dramatic, digital-age stand-off that played like a scene from a Hollywood thriller, dozens of New Zealand police backed by helicopters swarmed the barricaded mansion of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom to arrest him on Friday for Internet copyright theft.
Police had to cut their way through electronic locks to a safe room, where they discovered Dotcom – also known as Kim Schmitz – with a firearm.
“Despite our staff clearly identifying themselves, Mr Dotcom retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic-locking mechanisms," Detective Inspector Grant Wormald from the Organized and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand told Reuters.
Dotcom, who according to the FBI has made $42 million from pirated materials in 2010 alone, has been charged with operating a criminal enterprise that distributes intellectual property in what U.S. authorities are labeling one of the largest copyright cases in history.
The copyright violations represent $500 million in damages, according to a U.S. Justice Department indictment.
New Zealand police said two firearms and several luxury cars were removed from Dotcom’s mansion.
As for the mansion, it too seems to have been pulled from the movies. Local news footage shows a sprawling, castle-like complex with a sign out front that reads “Dotcom mansion.” Secrecy apparently isn’t a Dotcom family trait.
Authorities also seized firearms and several luxury cars. The cars, which include a Rolls Royce, a pink Cadillac and a Mercedes, were reportedly outfitted with license plates that read “Hacker,” “Mafia,” and “God.”
Dotcom only leased the mansion. He failed a “good character” test for migrants in 2010, preventing him from buying property.