Henan police unravel bitcoin theft case

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Due to a spike this year in the price of the virtual currency bitcoin, it's now become popular among thieves worldwide. 

Police in central China's Henan Province has successfully solved what appears to be the first bitcoin theft case in China over this past weekend, reports CCTV News. 

The victim, a professional investor, alerted authorities this summer that he lost some 3.4 million yuan (about 520 thousand dollars) worth of the crypto currency from an electronic wallet stored in an app on his phone. The app was recommended to him by an individual he met on a bitcoin traders WeChat group.

The creator of the WeChat group promoted an e-wallet app to victim, suggesting it was a safe place to keep bitcoins other than on trading platforms.

Several days later, the victim discovered his millions in bitcoins had disappeared. Asked what happened, the creator of the WeChat page surprisingly offered him partial compensation for his losses, saying he was feeling guilty about recommending the app to him.

This 'altruistic' move threw up a red-flag for police. After launching a probe, the WeChat group founder was discovered with 27 bank cards and multiple mobile phones in his home. Police say the suspect is proficient in software programming and hacked accounts by rewriting the source code of the app, through which he got usernames and passwords. He would also move the stolen bitcoins back and forth via hundreds of electronic wallets in order not to be traced and sold them at low prices on trading platforms. 

Authorities have so far recovered only around one-tenth of the estimated 20 million yuan worth of bitcoin the suspect stole.

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