Police suspect crypto-asset account used in 'international romance fraud'

Japanese police arrested a Vietnamese man on Wednesday on suspicion of illegally opening a trading account for crypto-assets. They suspect the account was used by a fraud group to transfer money it swindled through "international romance scams."

The suspect is Vu Van Tien, who is a 33-year-old company employee living in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan.

Police suspect he opened the account in June last year to allow others to use it and provided his ID and the account passcode to a third party.

They say more than 100 million yen, or about 770,000 dollars was deposited into the account in about a month since it was opened.

They believe 1 million yen of that amount was gained through fraud, in which criminals approach people, claiming to be foreigners on social media, and defraud them of a large amount of money by taking advantage of romantic feelings the victims had.

Police say the money was exchanged to crypto-assets and transferred to an overseas account. They suspect the account was used for money laundering by a fraud group.

The police say the suspect told them that he thought it would be no problem for others to use his account appropriately.