Japan’s Coincheck reports to regulators over $530 million cryptocurrency heist

UNTV News   •   February 13, 2018   •   3821

FILE PHOTO: Journalists are seen next to Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck’s signboard while Japan’s financial regulator conducts a spot inspection on Coincheck, in Tokyo, Japan February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc, under pressure to better safeguard investors after the daring theft of $530 million (£382 million) of digital money last month, said it had on Tuesday filed a report with regulators on the hacking.

The Financial Services Agency ordered Coincheck to raise its standards after the late-January hack, directing it to submit a report on the security of its systems and measures it would take to prevent a repeat.

The report included Coincheck’s investigation into the heist and details of steps to bolster its risk management system, the exchange said in a statement.

The submission of the report came as Coincheck lifted curbs on yen withdrawals.

The exchange, which froze all withdrawals of yen and cryptocurrencies following the heist, said last week it had confirmed the integrity of its system security and would from Tuesday allow customers to withdraw yen. A source told Reuters on Friday that Coincheck had received withdrawal requests from customers totalling about 30 billion yen (£202 million).

The exchange will hold a press conference at 8 p.m. local time (1100 GMT), the person familiar with the matter said. Coincheck did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The heist has exposed flaws in Japan’s system of regulating cryptocurrency trading, and raised questions over the country’s dash to oversee the industry – a move that was in sharp contrast to clampdowns by policymakers in countries such as South Korea, China and India.

LAWSUIT

Despite allowing customers to resume withdrawing yen from its systems, Coincheck said last week it would keep in place curbs on cryptocurrency withdrawals until it could guarantee the secure resumption of its operations.

“We are continuing to confirm and improve the security of our systems in order to resume transfers of other cryptocurrencies,” Coincheck said.

A lawyer representing a group of ten cryptocurrency traders told Reuters that they will launch a lawsuit against Coincheck on Thursday over the curbs on taking out cryptocurrencies.

The group will file a claim at the Tokyo District Court for Coincheck to allow withdrawals to private “wallets” – digital folders for storing money – outside the hacked exchange, the lawyer, Hiromu Mochizuki, said.

Separately, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday cryptocurrencies likely won’t threaten legal tenders like the yen any time soon as they are mostly used for speculative trading, rather than as payments and settlement means.

Kuroda also said the BOJ was closely watching developments in cryptocurrency trading to ensure they do not erode public trust over the safety of existing settlement systems overseen by the central bank.

“Cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tenders and don’t have assets to back up their value,” the BOJ chief said.

Reporting by Takahiko Wada and Thomas Wilson; Additional reporting by Leika Kihara Editing by Shri Navaratnam

NBI arrests Japanese fugitive in Parañaque City for alleged online fraud, extortion

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) have arrested a Japanese fugitive wanted for his alleged involvement in online fraud and extortion.

According to the NBI, suspect Watanabe Yuki is the so-called “Big Boss” of the largest telecommunication fraud syndicate, whose international operations cover several countries including Japan and Philippines. The agency also said they have already verified the information.

The BI is currently in custody of Yuki. BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said Yuki’s case is still pending at the Supreme Court (SC).

“With regards to implementation of the deportation, we’d have to wait for the resolution of the local case before we can implement,” Sandoval said.  AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

BI: Japanese wanted for telecom fraud nabbed in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   March 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A Japanese national wanted by authorities in Tokyo for telecommunications fraud charges has been arrested in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Japanese, identified as 36-year old Fujita Toshiya, was arrested in Mabini, Batangas last February 7 by operatives from the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit and the local police.

Morente described Toshiya as a high-profile suspect on Japan’s wanted list and is allegedly a member of an organized syndicate that preyed on many Japanese citizens for its telecom fraud activities.

According to Japanese authorities, which sought the foreigner’s arrest and deportation, Toshiya and his cohorts operated their racket from the Philippines and defrauded their unsuspecting victims in Japan through the use of telecommunications.

Reports state that his group had a total of more than 1,300 confirmed fraud cases resulting in damages amounting to 2 billion Japanese yen.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has reportedly filed cases against Toshiya in Japan. A warrant was issued by the Tokyo Summary Court, ordering his arrest.

“He will be deported, placed on our blacklist, and banned from re-entering the Philippines for being an undesirable alien,” Morente said.

The arrested Japanese is temporarily held at the Batangas Provincial Police Office, the BI said.

DOF warns public vs bogus cryptocurrency platform

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) has warned the public against an article alleging that the Philippines is creating a platform for its citizens to invest in cryptocurrency.

In a statement, the DOF said the article claiming that the government has created a platform called “Bitcoin Lifestyle” is fake news.

“There is no such effort by the government,” Finance assistant secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II said.

“We categorically deny that there is such a move, and warn the public against potentially harmful financial transactions with those behind the article,” he added.

The DOF said the fake news article also stated that President Duterte is “urging all citizens of the Philippines to learn about the platform to get involved.

The article also claimed that the “tax revenues will be huge and will benefit all citizens” and “will go to the financing of Philippines’ retirement and to counteract the crisis of learning support services.”

“This is false. We urge the public to exercise caution in their investments, and to keep their expectations of returns realistic,” Lambino said.

The Finance official also urged the public to report similarly suspicious investment schemes to the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with telephone number 8818-5704.

“We warn unscrupulous individuals and groups attempting to lure the public into unauthorized and deceptive investment schemes that the government is monitoring the public space for such schemes, and will take appropriate legal and regulatory action,” he added.

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