Law enforcement authorities in Tokyo have arrested two person accused of stealing bitcoin worth a total of around 78 million yen from the trading account of an IT firm Vipstar.
According to a publication of Japanese news outlet The Mainichi on January 23, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Cybercrime Control Division said that one of the arrested was a former employee of the company who used his experience at the company to approach the bitcoin trading account.
According to the reports, Yuto Onitsuka, 25, former employee of Vipstar and now an unemployed resident of the capital’s Nerima Ward and Takuma Sasaki, 28, an unemployed resident of Noda in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo are the main suspects behind this theft of bitcoin, valued at approximately $712,000. Further, they have also suspected of committing computer fraud and contravening the Act on Punishment of Organised Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds.
The Cybercrime Control Division told media that on Oct. 29, 2018, the suspected men made 12 unauthorized entries into a bitcoin trader’s account managed by the affected company. After that, both transferred the stolen money into their accounts.
The Cybercrime Control Division further said that they discovered the fraud after the company reported the problem to the police in November of 2018. At that time, Yuto Onitsuka was chief technology officer (CTO) of the company and had access to very sensitive details like customers’ accounts and password details.
The reports say that the stolen bitcoins were not customer’s assets but part of the working capital for the company.
On of the suspect, Takuma Sasaki also withdrew an amount of bitcoin equivalent in value to around 6 million yen from the stolen funds to pay for his debts and a vacation.
More interestingly, both the suspect never met each other in real life. They were just tied in a friendship on the internet. Both the men have admitted their crimes.
Yuto Onitsuka said that he was not agree with the president of the company over management policies so he tried to ruin the company. Sasaki said that he was instructed by Onitsuka to be a part of this crime.
Vipstar a blockchain project based on a hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-work chain launched in early 2018. The company also has own token called Vipstar Coin (VIPS) which is ranked at number 47 with a market cap of $4,606,464 USD, according to CoinMarketCap.