Two Japanese nationals have been arrested in connection with a hack on the CoinExchange exchange in 2018, in which ₿110 were stolen. One of the arrested was employed by the company from whom the funds were stolen, and he is thought to have worked in partnership with the other in order to try and reduce his immediate exposure to the hack while also profiting from it.
Accused is Former Employee
Tokyo police arrested the pair earlier this week for allegedly stealing around 78 million yen’s worth of bitcoin ($711,000). The Metropolitan Police Department’s cybercrime unit announced that it had arrested Yuto Onitsuka, 25, and Takuma Sasaki, 28, on computer fraud charges, according to local news website Jiji News. The pair are suspected of stealing the BTC from the account of a Tokyo-based virtual currency management company, who stored their funds on the now defunct CoinExchange exchange.
Onitsuka was an employee of the virtual currency management firm at the time, and had knowledge of the account’s login details. He is thought to have shared these with Sasaki, who used the information to fraudulently withdraw the BTC. Some of it was converted to cash and sent to Sasaki’s bank account, which allowed the police to trace him easily, which then led police to Onitsuka. CoinExchange itself launched in 2016, but closed last October following a dramatic downturn in trading volume which left them with little chance to continue.
Japan Has Previous
Japan has experienced its fair share of criminal crypto behavior in the past. As well as this episode, in 2018 eight Tokyo-based crooks were arrested after operating a $68.4 million pyramid scheme that pretended to trade cryptocurrency, while a year later an 18-year-old exploited a flaw in the Monappy app and stole $134,000 worth of MONA coin.