Japanese police charged 30 people for their alleged involvement in illegal transactions linked to the well-known $530 million Coincheck hack in 2018. Tokyo authorities traced all individuals’ transactions to different places across the nation.
Illicit Transactions Are Estimated to Have Totaled Over $96 Million
Initially, Nikkei reported that the suspects were either arrested or their cases have been referred to the prosecutors’ office. However, Kyodo confirmed that all 30 people were arrested and are now under police custody, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Police revealed that cyber-investigators traced accounts involved in the illicit transactions to “conventional” crypto exchanges. In fact, prosecutors stated that the suspects converted hacked NEM coins stolen from Coincheck, making it easy to identify all the individuals.
Kyodo also revealed that trading transactions from the 30 suspects are estimated to be worth over 10 billion yen ($96 million), using the exchange rate at the theft time. Moreover, authorities stated that the individuals knew such cryptos belonged to the hacking incident.
The Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo didn’t disclose the suspects’ identities, as they’re still in the investigation phase. Sources cited by Kyodo provided more details about how the individuals handled the transactions:
Some of the suspects exchanged NEM for other digital currencies through the website and cashed their holdings at cryptocurrency exchanges at home and abroad to make handsome profits.
Latest Developments on the Coincheck Hack Case
In March 2020, two hackers, identified as Masaki Kitamoto and Takayoshi Doi, were arrested by Japanese police. Kitamoto admitted wrongdoing; he claimed to have stolen over $19 million from Coincheck’s hack. Additional charges were filed by the authorities later.
The hackers pocketed 523 million NEM from Coincheck on Jan. 26, 2018. At the time, the coins’ estimated value totaled $530 million, which has since declined. Today, the stolen tokens are worth just $38 million.
Coincheck’s theft remains the biggest in the cryptocurrency industry, together with the Mt. Gox’s $460 million hack of 2014. In August 2020, news.Bitcoin.com reported that a court in Tokyo seized crypto assets traced back to the crypto exchange’s heist.
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