Local media outlets in Beijing, the capital of China, have reported a robbery of bitcoins managed by the regional police. An operations and maintenance engineer was arrested after a failed attempt to hack the system of the company he worked for in order to steal 100 bitcoins from his employers. The engineer faces a substantial fine and up to seven years in jail.
Last September, Zhong Mo, an employee of a tech company operating in the Haidian district of the city of Beijing, used his position as a system engineer to take illegal possession of 100 bitcoins. At the time of the theft, the stolen bitcoins were worth 380,000 dollars.
The engineer was in charge of performing maintenance operations on the company’s platform, which enabled him to find out about the unsuccessful attempt of a hacker to steal some of the company’s bitcoins through pirate attacks. This led Zhong Mo to devise his own robbery.
According to the prosecutors from the Haidian Science and Technology Criminal Investigation Department, the engineer eliminated the interference of the aforementioned hacker and used his administrator authority to initiate a session and insert a code to transfer the cryptocurrencies to an account outside China without leaving any traces behind.
However, the engineer changed his mind after losing 10 bitcoins in an identity impersonation scam (phishing) on internet, which possibly led him to the decision to return the remaining 90 bitcoins to the company.
The engineer is also charged with illegal obtention of information by using a computer, an action which, according to the Chinese criminal law, violates different national regulations when it comes to the use of data stored in information systems. He is now facing a jail punishment of three to seven year, along with a fine.
Despite being the first theft of bitcoins solved by the Chinese police, there have been other scams involving bitcoin in the past. Last year, a theft of three million dollars in bitcoins was reported. The theft was performed by a programer from China. Likewise, Taiwan also reported an armed robbery of bitcoins recently, which caused a lot of stir in the local bitcoin community.