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Japan: Suspected $700,000 Bitcoin Thieves Nabbed by Tokyo Police


Two suspects allegedly responsible for the theft of Bitcoin (BTC) worth $700,000 from a company’s account have been arrested by the Tokyo Police Department. Reports are claiming that one of the suspects intended to bankrupt the company as he had become dissatisfied with management policy.

Suspects Arrested in Connection with Bitcoin Theft Case

According to The Japan Times, two suspects – Yuto Onitsuka and Takama Sasaki, have been arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s cybercrime unit in connection to a ¥78 Million ($700,000) BTC theft from 2018. The Tokyo Police Department reported that the suspects have been in contact with each other for about four to five years but have never met in person. They are believed to have first interacted with each other through an online bulletin board.

Reports say the suspect Onitsuka is an ex-employee of a Tokyo-based virtual currency management firm with a trading account listed on the crypto platform CoinExchange and had the login details to the account. Onitsuka had allegedly grown to be discontented with the management policy of the then President of the company and made plans to bankrupt the firm. His online pal Sasaki learned the login details from Onitsuka and the two proceeded to steal the BTC, per reports.

According to reports from the Tokyo Police Department, on Monday (October 29, 2018), the suspects logged into the virtual currency account and stole some ¥78 Million worth of BTC. The two then remitted the stolen BTC to two accounts on foreign and domestic exchanges. Also, some of the stolen BTC is believed to have been hidden in Sasaki’s bank account as the suspect reportedly has withdrawn a total of ¥6 million from his account.

Authorities have been after the person or persons responsible for the BTC theft with the virtual currency management firm reported the case back in October 2018.

Crypto Crime in Japan

The ¥78 Million BTC theft case is the latest to join the ranks of cryptocurrency-related crimes in Japan. In April 2018, 12 people were reportedly arrested by the Tokyo police in connection to an ‘over the counter’ BTC fraud deal. The individuals allegedly presented $1.86 million cash in fake bills in exchange for the seller’s BTC.

Back in July 2019, BTCManager reported a hack on the Japanese crypto exchange platform Bitpoint. The hackers stole BTC worth some $32 million (about ¥2.5 billion) in BTC, Bitcoin cash (BCH) and XRP cryptocurrencies. Zaif, another Japanese crypto exchange platform fell victim to a hack back in September 2018. The hackers stole some 5,966 BTC amounting to about $60 million at the time of the report.

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