Chinese Criminals Blamed for Record Japan Bank Cybertheft

Monami Yui and Shingo Kawamoto report:

Japanese savers keeping their money in banks are falling prey to cybertheft in record numbers, and police say Chinese crime groups are increasingly to blame.

Criminals stole 1.85 billion yen ($16 million) from accounts at lenders including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) in the six months ended in June, surpassing the full-year record of 1.41 billion yen in 2013, according to the National Police Agency. Of 133 related arrests in the first half of the year, Chinese nationals made up the largest group with 83, or 62 percent, almost double the arrests of Japanese. Last year, 59 Chinese were arrested for bank cybertheft, up from 14 in 2012, the first year the agency separated data by nationality.

“We see a very deep Chinese connection in these cybertheft cases,” said Arichika Eguchi, the police agency’s director of cybercrime investigations. “Japanese people’s wealth is draining into China.”

Read more on Bloomberg.

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