30 Japanese arrested over NEM token stolen from Coincheck in 2018

TL;DR Breakdown:

  • Thirty people from Japan have been charged for exchanging NEM tokens allegedly stolen from Coincheck.
  • The suspect used a dark web platform to swap the cryptos before cashing out to their accounts.

The Japanese authorities have arrested a group of persons who were caught exchanging NEM tokens, which were allegedly stolen from the Japanse cryptocurrency exchange, Coincheck, in the past two years. They used an underground exchange built on the dark web to convert the cryptocurrencies, according to the police. Although these suspects have been charged, the identities of the actual people behind the 2018 hack are still not known.

Coincheck NEM token hack 

According to the report, the suspects used the unnamed underground crypto exchange to swap the NEM tokens for other digital currencies, which enabled them to cash out the cryptocurrencies in foreign and other local trading platforms. Following the price of the NEM token during the hack, the Metropolitan Police Department estimated that the 30 suspects had traded about totaled over $96,570,770 (or 10 billion Japanese yen) on the dark web exchange.

Two of the suspects – Takayoshi Doi (31) and Masaki Kitamoto (40) – made the largest trade with the allegedly stolen NEM tokens. They were arrested earlier in March last year, while others were later. Per the report, they’ve all been charged by referred to prosecutors. The police said they would continue to investigate the Coincheck hack, and those trading the NEM tokens, as “it is nearing the statute of limitations.”c

Coincheck hack in 2018

The Japanese crypto exchange was attacked in 2018. The hackers made away with NEM cryptos worth about $560 million (58 billion yen) during the time of the incident. While investigations are still ongoing, efforts have already been made to recover some of the stolen coins. In August, Cryptopolitan reported that a Japanese court ordered the seizure of NEM coins suspected to be from Coincheck after security operatives called for it.

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