Three suspects have been detained by Chinese police over suspected theft of cryptocurrencies. Hackers allegedly stole Bitcoin and other digital assets worth about $ 87 million. Authorities say this is by far the largest such robbery in China.
Hackers stole coins worth 600 million yuan:
Chinese police have arrested three men suspected of stealing about 600 million yuan (more than $ 87 million) in cryptocurrency through hacking. According to local media reports, criminals targeted personal and corporate computers.
Law enforcement officials in Xi’an, the northern capital of Shaanxi, described the case as the country’s “highest-value cryptocurrency criminal investigation” to date. An South China Morning Post quoted an official as saying:
The investigation began in March of this year when a victim (a resident of Xi’an) notified local police that his computer had been hacked. He complained that unknown attackers had stolen 100 million yuan (about 15 million U.S. dollars) of Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Suspects worked for top internet companies
According to investigators, these people have been hired by leading Internet companies and have a broad technical background. However, details about these companies were not disclosed. After mastering the virtual funds, they sold coins by dividing digital cash into small amounts and making multiple transactions to cover their trajectories.
Before identifying the first suspect (Chou, a resident of central Hunan), the police analysed the large amount of data collected with the assistance of experts from the IT department. Two months later, they found two other alleged accomplices—Cui Mou from Beijing and Zhang Mou from Jilin Province.
The security services carried out round-the-clock surveillance on these individuals and then conducted a joint raid on them last Wednesday. Chinese authorities and the media pointed out that the investigation is still ongoing.
The popularity of crypto currencies in the People’s Republic of China has led to a significant increase in crimes and disputes related to digital assets. According to a recent report, an increasing number of such cases have overwhelmed Chinese courts. Due to unclear regulations and ambiguous bans on ICO and crypto currency transactions, Chinese judges have found it difficult to resolve many of these issues.