Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland after investigators tracked down his IP address.
The alleged founder and operator of one of the world’s most popular torrent sites, KickassTorrents, has been arrested in Poland, TorrentFreak reports.
30-year-old Ukranian Artem Vaulin was detained yesterday (July 20) in Poland on behalf of the US Justice Department, which had requested his extradition for copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Ironically, Vaulin was tracked down by a legal iTunes purchase. Investigators cross-referenced an IP address used to make an iTunes transaction with an IP address also used to log in to the KickassTorrents Facebook page.
The criminal complaint filed to the U.S. District Court in Chicago shows that investigators also posed as advertisers to find out his identity, revealing a bank account associated with the site.
“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials,” Assistant Attorney General Caldwell said in a statement.
“In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”
KickassTorrents launched in 2008 and has become one of the largest torrent sites on the internet, housing downloads for music, movies, video games and other media. All domains are now in the process of being seized, and the site appears to be offline.
The case mirrors that of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was arrested in 2012 and has been fighting a US extradition request since.