Beijing : Chinese police have arrested three suspects alleged to have stolen assets worth 600 million yuan ($87 million) through hacking, state media reported on Sunday, as cyber criminals target holders of bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Police in the northern city of Xian began investigating in March when a victim surnamed Zhang complained that hackers had taken control of his computer to steal 100 million yuan ($15 million) worth of cryptocurrency, the Shaanxi Daily said.

The 100 million yuan haul was made up of the popular bitcoin and ether currencies, Xinhua reported.

The transfer of the units provided police with a virtual trail, leading them to a suspect Zhou in the central province of Hunan.

Zhou’s communications led to two more alleged accomplices. Altogether, the three suspects are thought to have stolen 600 million yuan by hacking the computers of individuals and companies.

The probe is on, it said, with officers in three provinces working together to nab the suspects.

In February, an official pu­b­li­cation announced plans to stamp out remaining cryptocurrency trad­ing in China by block­ing access to overseas-based portals and removing related applications from app stores.

The moves were outlined in a Financial News report, a publication under the People’s Bank of China, which said the aim was to snuff out the “dying cinders” of cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings “which are glowing once more”.

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