2 suspects arrested for Bitcoin theft in Japan

Crypto thieves have just received further proof that they are not immune to being caught, as Japanese police have arrested two men who are said to have stolen approximately JPY 78 million (USD 700,000) in Bitcoin (BTC) in October 2018 from an account at CoinExchange, a crypto exchange that no longer exists.

The Tokyo police cybercrime unit has arrested two Japanese citizens aged 25 and 28 for computer fraud, reports the Japan Times. The two men allegedly have access to the account of Vipstar, a Japanese cryptomanagement company that allegedly develops its own coin, Vipstarcoin (VIPS). The Metropolitan Police Department opened an investigation into the theft after the company reported the theft of the crypto coin. The Bitcoins were part of Vipstar’s own funds and not of the company’s customers.

The stolen crypto currency was diverted from the company’s account to two different accounts on foreign and domestic exchanges. At the time, the 25-year-old suspect was employed by the Tokyo-based company as its Chief Technology Officer and shared the login details with the 28-year-old man who used them to illegally access the company’s bitcoins. The two are said to have met on an online bulletin board several years ago and claim they never met in person.

Some of the stolen cryptos were allegedly exchanged for cash deposited in one of the suspects’ accounts. The man withdrew about JPY 6 million from his account and spent it on travel and paying his debts, according to the local newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.

“I didn’t like the president’s management policy at the time, so I thought I was going to destroy the company,” the former Vipstar chief of technology confessed to law enforcement officials.

Both suspects allegedly confess to the charges.

CoinExchange announced that the company would be closed in October 2019 due to its financial difficulties. The exchange’s website remained open for payouts until December 1, 2019.