Zhong Mo was a tech company employee who allegedly used his position to steal 100 bitcoins from his employer. The news of his arrest was recently confirmed by the Haidian police. He was charged for illegally acquiring computer information. Haidian is a popular area. Most universities are located in Beijing in this area. It is locally known as “China’s Silicon Valley as it contains the Zhongguancun electronics district where many tech companies have their Chinese headquarters.
The prosecutors of the Science and Technology Criminal Investigation Department of Haidian investigated the case. The accused was an operation and maintenance engineer of a technology company.
The claims are that he was doing a routine maintenance of the company’s server when he found out that someone tried to steal the company’s cryptocurrency by hacking, but failed. After eliminating the abnormal interference, the engineer used his administrator’s authority to log in to the server himself and insert a piece of code to transfer 100 bitcoins from the company’s holdings to his own account registered on a website outside China. By taking steps to avoid tracking he also tried to eliminate traces of the act.
The Thief Falls Victim to Another Crime
The employee returned the remaining 90 bitcoins to the company after losing 10 bitcoins to a phishing scam and apparently getting cold feet. 100 bitcoins were worth about $380,000, according to the exchange rate at the time of the incident, September 16, 2017.
The prosecutor in the case said that according to China’s Criminal Law, violating state regulations regarding data stored in a computer system, the employee can be sentenced to imprisonment of no more than three years, but if the circumstances are found to be particularly serious he can face up to seven years in prison, plus a fine.
This incident is not new for China. A Chinese citizen was arrested for stealing bitcoins, earlier in 2017. The theft was apparently of ￥20 million (about $3 million). The programmer was arrested in Shanghai.