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$42 million of Megaupload's assets frozen in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has frozen the file-sharing site's assets as part of a worldwide Internet piracy investigation.

Kim Schmitz Kim Dotcom Megaupload founder New Zealand 2012 20 01Enlarge
Kim Dotcom, right, appears in court with his three co-accused, in Auckland, New Zealand, Jan. 20 2012. (RT.com/Screengrab)

Hong Kong has frozen $42 million in Megaupload's assets, as the worldwide FBI investigation into the file-sharing website continues, AFP reported

More from GlobalPost: Megaupload founder Kim Schmitz, alias 'Kim Dotcom,' in court in New Zealand (VIDEO)

Update: The Agence France-Presse news agency reports that retribution for the Megaupload prosecutions is continuing as the hacker collective Anonymous has attacked websites belonging to Brazil's federal district as well as one belonging to a Brazilian singer.

As Kim Dotcom, a former hacker and Megaupload's founder, appeared in court in New Zealand on Friday, customs officers raided offices, houses and luxury hotel suites connected to the growing case against the popular file-sharing site, which is based in Hong Kong.

Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, and his co-conspirators face charges of racketeering, money laundering and internet piracy. 

One hundred officers took part in the raids in Hong Kong. Officers raided hotel suites that cost over $12,000 a day, and found them filled with high-speed servers and large television screens. The equipment is suspected to be connected to the case, the AFP reported. 

Officials also seized digital evidence and found over $42 million in suspected crime proceeds in their investigations, according to Hong Kong Customs. 

"The assets have been frozen in accordance with related ordinances. The operation is ongoing," Customs said in a statement to reporters.

Megaupload.com, once the 13th most popular website in the world, was shut down on Thursday, amidst protests against internet piracy legislation, including SOPA and PIPA.

The Justice Department called this “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States,” according to Wired.

More from GlobalPost: Hacker collective Anonymous shuts down Department of Justice website, among others

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/technology-news/120121/megaupload-assets-frozen-hong-kong