Megaupload founder Kim Schmitz played a little game of hide-and-seek with the New Zealand police officers sent to apprehend him at his multimillion dollar Coatesville mansion on Thursday. Schmitz, also known as Kim Dotcom, was named this month in a U.S. Justice Department indictment along with six others for fueling a global “mega conspiracy.”
Detective Inspector Grant Wormald described the harrowing encounter as “not as simple as knocking at the front door.” To say that Schmitz refused to cooperate with the coordinated raid would be an understatement.
“Mr. Dotcom retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic locking mechanisms,” said Wormald. “While police neutralized these locks he then further barricaded himself into a safe room within the house which officers had to cut their way into.”
When the officers finally reached Schmitz, they noticed a sawed-off shotgun nearby, he said.
Following Schmitz’s detainment, authorities returned to his mansion and hauled away several expensive cars. Among those repossessed were a 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe, a 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and a 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG baring the license plate “GUILTY.”
Schmitz appeared in court on Friday to face numerous charges leveled by the U.S. Department of Justice, including copyright infringement and racketeering. Flanked by alleged accomplices Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk in a video posted to YouTube by Russia Today, the foursome was denied bail.
Opened in 2005, Schmitz’s Megaupload faced mounting attention in 2011. Porn publisher Perfect 10 sued, while the RIAA filed a complaint on the site with the U.S. Trade Representative. The site was finally seized on Thursday, sparking a retaliatory DDoS attack led by hacker collective Anonymous. The group knocked offline sites belonging to Universal Music, the DOJ and FBI. The two government sites have since been restored, though UniversalMusic.com wouldn’t load as of press time.
It’s still unclear whether Schmitz will be extradited to the U.S. or not, though the DOJ is certainly keeping its finger crossed. The four defendants’ next scheduled court appearance is Monday. (via Torrent Freak)