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7 men arrested over ¥190 million bitcoin fraud

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Metropolitan Police Department has arrested seven men in their 20s on suspicion of defrauding a company executive out of bitcoins worth ¥190 million, the police said Wednesday.

According to a senior MPD official, the fraud took place in July last year. Kenta Azuma from Kita Ward, Kobe, and six others allegedly proposed a deal to a company executive from Tokyo in his 40s, offering him ¥200 million in cash in exchange for bitcoins with a market value of ¥190 million.

The cryptocurrency was transferred to a designated account, but the men did not pay the money, lying to the executive by saying that the bitcoins did not reach their account.

All seven suspects have denied the allegations, the MPD said.

According to the police, Azuma, 24, and the other suspects met with an agent of the company executive in a hotel lounge in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, and showed the agent stacks of ¥10,000 bank notes in a suitcase, saying that it was ¥200 million.

After receiving a report from the agent that the cash had been confirmed, the company executive transferred his bitcoins to the designated account. The executive was quoted by the police as saying, “I accepted the direct transaction deal because I didn’t have to pay a commission.”

The MPD believe that most of the bank notes in the suitcase were fake.

The account designated by the suspects, into which the company executive was asked to transfer his bitcoins, was managed by a cryptocurrency exchange dealer in Yokohama. The bitcoins were later converted into cash, the MPD said.Speech

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