Two Japanese have been arrested by Tokyo Police in connection to a ¥78 million ($700,000) Bitcoin theft from CoinExchange

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, according to The Japan Times on January 23.

The two are suspected of accessing the account of a Tokyo-based virtual currency management company on CoinExchange and stealing some ¥78 million in bitcoin from the account on Oct. 29, 2018. The stolen bitcoin was remitted to two accounts managed by the suspects on foreign and domestic exchanges.

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.

According to the investigative sources, Onitsuka was an employee of the Tokyo virtual currency management firm at the time and knew the username and password for the company account. Sasaki is thought to have learned the login details from Onitsuka and used the information to fraudulently withdraw the bitcoins. Some of the stolen bitcoin is thought to have been exchanged for cash, which was put in Sasaki’s bank account, the suspect reportedly has withdrawn a total of ¥6 million from his account.

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

Crypto Crime in Japan

In a statement on Oct. 1, Coinexchange.io has announced that it is shutting down due to financial difficulties. The crypto exchange based in Japan has said that it may return in the future should market conditions change.

CoinExchange announced plans to shutter on October 1st 2019 | Source: archive.org

As AZCoin News reported, 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 Bitcoin.

The theft occurred at a time when Japan was beefing up cryptocurrency regulations to reduce such occurrences. Since the hacking of Coincheck where NEM tokens worth over $500 million were stolen, Japan’s financial regulator has taken a more proactive role with a view of reducing thefts. This has been done while still maintaining a progressive stance on Bitcoin.

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