Many long-time GTspirit readers and forum members will recognise the name Kim Schmitz as the two-time Gumball 3000 participant ‘Kimble’. Yesterday, the US Department of Justice asked the New Zealand authorities to arrest Kim, now known as Kim Dotcom, and his colleagues for large-scale copyright infringement. His website Megaupload.com was shut down and cars, cash, shotguns and artwork were seized from ten New Zealand homes.
The indictment states that Megaupload has caused copyright holders $ 500 million in lost revenue from pirated films, albums and other materials. The move comes just one day after several prominent websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit and Wired went ‘dark’ for 24 hours on Wednesday as a form of protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). SOPA aims to be the first legislative step to a ‘policed’ internet. Something internet users, bloggers and news outlets, including GTspirit, have rallied against.
Amongst the cars seized were three Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM’s, a Lamborghini LM002, a Maserati GranCabrio, a Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, a Mercedes-Benz C65 AMG and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe. A number had typically Kim numberplates including a ‘GOOD’ and ‘EVIL’ Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, a ‘GOD’ Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe, a ‘GUILTY’ Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and a ‘HACKER’ Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG.
Kim had recently come out of hiding, a number of his cars were spotted in Europe last summer. He lived in Hong Kong and New Zealand and held dual citizen of Finland and Germany. He was arrested alongside two other German citizens and one Dutch citizen. Three others – another German, a Slovakian and an Estonian – are still wanted by law enforcement officers. Interestingly, the company CEO, Swizz Beats of Lotus fame is not named on the indictment.
The hacking group Anonymous reacted to the news almost instantly by launching one of their biggest attacks to date. They took down the Universal Music, RIAA (the record industry’s lobbying arm), MPAA (the movie industry’s lobbying arm), and Department of Justice websites.
This isn’t the first time Kim has been arrested by law authorities. Back 2002, Schmitz was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand and deported to Germany where he got an one year eight month sentence for insider-trading offences.
Video of Kimble during his Gumball 3000 days
The full list of vehicles seized includes:
2010 Maserati GranCabrio, VIN ZAMKM45B000051328, License PlateNo. “M-FB 212″ or “DH-GC 470″, registered to FINN BATATO;67.
2009 Mercedes-Benz E500 Coupe, VIN WDD20737225019582, LicensePlate No. “FEG690″
2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, VIN WDB2093422F165517, LicensePlate No. “GOOD”
2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG 5.5L Kompressor, VINWDB2093422F166073, License Plate No. “EVIL”
2010 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG L, VIN WDD2211792A324354, LicensePlate No. “CEO” 7071.
2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe, VINSCA2D68096UH07049; License Plate No. “GOD”;72.
2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, VIN WDD2120772A103834, LicensePlate No. “STONED”;73.
2010 Mini Cooper S Coupe, VIN WMWZG32000TZ03651, License PlateNo. “V”;74.
2010 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, VIN WDC1641772A608055, LicensePlate No. “GUILTY”;
2007 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, VIN WDD2163792A025130, LicensePlate No. “KIMCOM”;
2009 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, VIN WDC1641772A542449, LicensePlate No. “MAFIA”;
2010 Toyota Vellfire, VIN 7AT0H65MX11041670, License Plate Nos.”WOW” or “7”;
2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG, VIN WDB4632702X193395, LicensePlate Nos. “POLICE” or “GDS672″;
2011 Toyota Hilux, VIN MR0FZ29G001599926, License PlateNo. “FSN455″;
Harley Davidson Motorcycle, VIN 1HD1HPH3XBC803936, LicensePlate No. “36YED”;
2010 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, VIN WDD2163742A026653, LicensePlate No. “HACKER”;
2005 Mercedes-Benz A170, VIN WDD1690322J184595, License PlateNo. “FUR252″;
2005 Mercedes-Benz ML500, VIN WDC1641752A026107, License PlateNo. DFF816;
Fiberglass sculpture, imported from the United Kingdom with EntryNo. 83023712;
1957 Cadillac El Dorado, VIN 5770137596;
2010 Sea-Doo GTX Jet Ski, VIN YDV03103E010;
1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible, VIN 59F115669;
Von Dutch Kustom Motor Bike, VIN 1H9S14955BB451257;
2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, VIN WDB2094421T067269;
2010 Mini Cooper S Coupe, VIN WMWZG32000TZ03648 LicensePlate No. “T”
1989 Lamborghini LM002, VIN ZA9LU45AXKLA12158, License PlateNo. “FRP358″
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML63, VIN 4JGBB7HB0BA666219