Romanian barber suspected of $620,000 cryptocurrency theft arrested

Ionel Roman / FOTO: ziaruldeiasi.ro

A Romanian barber has been detained by anti-crime prosecutors on suspicion of hacking a company in the Cayman islands and stealing 620,000 U.S dollars worth of cryptocurrency.

The 38-year-old man from the southern city of Craiova was arrested on March 5 on charges of hacking, IT fraud and money laundering, anti-crime prosecutors’ office said.

He is suspected of stealing the cryptocurrency which he then transferred to the personal accounts of several others.

The man, identified as Ionel Roman,  targeted a company based in the Cayman Islands, and the seventh-largest cryptocurrency operator in the world, prosecutors said in a statement.

The Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism, DIICOT, said the suspect broke into the system using an illegally obtained Application Programming Interface key or API, before launching his cyberattack in late January this year.

After accessing the system, the man who owned barber shops in Craiova, Adevarul reported, transferred cryptocurrency worth 620,000 US dollars, to the personal accounts of several people who paid him in real money for the digital assets.

“In order to hide the criminal deeds, the accused chose to take possession of the money through several withdrawals of small sums of 10,000 lei (which is about 2,000 euros) so he was not asked to provide an ID document,” the DIICOT statement said.

Officers raided two locations and seized mobile phone, laptops, memory sticks, e-wallets and 10,800 lei in cash. =The Craiova resident often traveled to Iasi where he was arrested, for business arrest.

Romanian law enforcement agencies blocked 40,000 lei from the account of one of the bitcoin traders who had bought the stolen cryptocurrency.

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