TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 27-year-old president of a cleaning company in Fukuoka Prefecture for allegedly participating in a plot to rob 100 million yen in the virtual currency bitcoin from a man at a hotel in Tokyo’s Minato Ward last year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Mar. 6).
In November, Yuki Takimoto allegedly ordered several male youths, then aged 18 and 19, to carry out a beating of the man, a 27-year-old employee of a company that deals in bitcoin, inside a room at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo, located in the Akasaka area.
“We will stab you if you do not cough up the coin as soon as possible,” one of the youths reportedly said while wielding a knife. The suspects then attempted to steal 109 bitcoins, which at the time were valued at around 100 million yen, using the victim’s mobile phone.
Takimoto, who has been accused of attempted robbery, denies the allegations, telling police he had “nothing to do” with the matter, according to police.
After the attack, the victim fled the hotel and alerted police. Officers from the Akasaka Police Station later entered the room and arrested four youths also on suspicion of attempted robbery.
Takimoto became a person of interest for police after a fifth youth, 19, was arrested in January. During questioning of the boy, the involvement of Takimoto emerged.
Prepared funny money
The suspects lured the victim to the hotel during an exchange on an internet site about the purchase of the virtual currency, police said. In attempting to convey their sincerity, the suspects sent the victim a photograph showing bundles of counterfeit 10,000-yen notes. Prior to the incident, 1 million yen in fake currency was prepared to bring to the hotel.
All of the boys told police that they were to be paid between 1 million and 2 million yen if the caper was successful.