Chinese police have arrested three suspects who allegedly stole assets worth 600 million yuan ($87 million) worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through hacking.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, Police in the northern city of Xian began investigating in March when a victim surnamed Zhang complained that hackers had taken control of his computer to steal 100 million yuan (US$15 million) worth of cryptocurrency.
A task force was set up and a preliminary investigation revealed that hackers had used remote hijacking techniques to gain access and control of cryptocurrency accounts belonging to the victim – only identified as Zhang – with nearly no footprints of the crime.
The 100 million yuan haul was made up of the popular bitcoin and ether currencies. The transfer of the units provided police with a virtual trail, leading them to a suspect surnamed Zhou in the central province of Hunan. Two months later the police located and arrested the other two supposed accomplices.
The three men were further accused of a series of illegal cyber intrusion into corporation and personal networks to obtain crypto assets, worth about $87 million.
Zhou, who belongs to the central Chinese province of Hunan, is currently in custody along with his two alleged accomplices. Police across three provinces continue to work together in a still-ongoing investigation.
Despite the eye-watering value of stolen cryptocurrencies involved in the alleged theft, It remains to be seen if the value of the stolen cryptocurrencies exceeds the police’s current initial estimate.