Local news outlets report that police in Bulgaria are in possession of stolen cryptocurrency. Particularly, police seized three individuals who are facing criminal charges after fraudulently acquiring over $3 million (5M lev) in cryptocurrency.
A statement from the prosecutor’s office said:
“The Specialized Prosecutor’s Office and the GOCB have neutralized an organized crime group for computer fraud and illegal acquisition of cryptographic data worth more than $ 5 million. The crypt for some $ 3 million (equivalent to about $ 5 million) has been “seized” in searches on computers used by Bulgarian citizens under investigation.”
Stolen cryptocurrency used to buy car
According to the police, the criminal gang was under surveillance for over five months. Further, the police are yet to establish how exactly the criminals obtained the cryptocurrency.
However, it is apparent that they were using “innovative mechanisms, specialist software, and advanced knowledge in the area of cryptocurrency.”
In addition to the seized stolen cryptocurrency, police were also able to impound a car worth $35,000 (60,000 lev). Particularly, the police suspect that the car is part of the crypto pilfered by the criminals.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the three will answer charges related to use of “computers and flash drives, hardware portfolios, notebooks with data on multiple accounts of existing and non-existing individuals utilised in the illegal acquisition scheme on 22 November 2018 of crypto loop.”
Cyber-thieves still a huge threat to crypto space
Further, a police statement adds that they were able to uncover numerous digital keys allegedly used by the criminals. Particularly, the prosecution accuses the suspects of acting exceptionally and professionally to steal digital assets.
Regarding their status after arrest, the prosecutor’s office said in the statement:
“By order of the Specialized Criminal Court, two of the accused are in custody. At the third participant, the prosecutor in charge of the case identified a “Cash Guarantee” amounting to BGN 50,000.”
According to crypto cybersecurity and intelligence firm CipherTrace, fraudsters remain a huge problem in the crypto space. Interestingly, the firm estimates that the first 9 months of 2018 witnessed close to $1 billion disappearing to cyber-thieves.