The cybercrime division of Tokyo Metropolitan police on Saturday questioned a Japanese man in connection with the massive theft of a lesser-known cryptocurrency, called NEM, from Japan’s mega digital exchange Coincheck Inc.
The suspect appeared at the police station for inquiries after detectives learned he converted a small amount of the missing NEM coins into Litecoin through a site on the darknet.
The man was allowed to leave after the necessary formalities were complete, as the Japanese police, which is closely monitoring any moves to convert the missing tokens, didn’t believe he was involved with hacking.
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Coincheck, based in Tokyo, said last month that more than $500 million worth of the exchange’s NEM coins were stolen. Since the heist, Coincheck has suspended deposits and withdrawals for all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin
The stolen assets were reported to have been tagged by NEM.io Foundation, a Singapore-based nonprofit organization promoting NEM, to make it easier to track as the authorities are monitoring darknet sites to identify any related transactions.
The exchange also made the decision to abruptly freeze all withdrawals from the exchange after a user holding $123 million worth of Ripple tokens suddenly left the exchange with all of their assets; other users with sizeable holdings also reportedly departed from the exchange after the revelation of the NEM hack.
Several days after the attack, Coincheck assured affected customers that they will be reimbursed from its own pocket. It announced that it would be paying back users $0.81 for every dollar worth of NEM that was taken from them, although the timeline for the payback has not yet been determined.