Japanese police charged 30 people for their alleged involvement in illegal transactions linked to the $530 million Coincheck hack that took place back in 2018. Tokyo authorities traced all individuals’ transactions to different places across the nation. Initially, Nikkei reported that the suspects were arrested or their cases have been referred to the prosecutors’ office. However, Kyodo later confirmed that all 30 people were arrested and now under police custody, citing familiar sources.
The suspects converted hacked NEM coins stolen from Coincheck.
Police revealed that cyber-investigators traced accounts involved in the illicit transactions to “conventional” crypto exchanges. 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 $96 million, using the theft time’s exchange rate. 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.
Japanese police arrested two suspects related to the major hack.
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.