Dubai Police Recover $1.9 Million Taken In Bitcoin Heist Using AI Tech

Francisco Memoria
  • Police in Dubai managed to recover $1.9 million that were taken from two brothers who were looking to buy bitcoin.
  • The brothers were ttacked by a gang of 10 men. All of them were arrested within 48 hours of the incident.

Police in Dubai have recently been able to arrest ten gang members who reportedly stolen 7 million AED ($1.9 million) from two Asian brothers who were looking to buy bitcoin in the Al Muraqabbat area, according to news outlet Gulf News.

Per the news outlet’s report, the two brothers wanted to buy the flagship cryptocurrency, and were lured by some of the gang’s members to an office inside a market. In it, they were then assaulted, robbed at gunpoint, and threatened before being tied and locked inside said office. The assailants then fled the scene.

Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker, Director of Dubai police's Criminal Investigation Department, stated:

"The brothers searched randomly in the market to buy Bitcoin. The gang lured them claiming they can sell them Bitcoin.”

Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker

While six members were inside the office with the two brothers, three reportedly waited outside. The gang’s members managed to get access to the office by tricking its owner into believing they were going to buy it.

Per Dubai Police’s commander-in-chief, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, the gang’s mastermind was identified within four hours of the incident, and his whole gang had reportedly been caught within 48 hours, as police quickly managed to locate them. The stolen funds were reportedly returned to the two victims.

Major General Khali Ebrahim Al Mansour, assistant commander-in-chief, revealed that the police’s success was partly driven by the data analysis center using smart programs and artificial intelligence technology to trace the gang’s members. He was quoted as saying:

“Using AI helped Dubai Police to arrest a Gulf National, who is the head of the gang, and other Asian suspects The information from the data analysis center helped the officers to arrest all gang members."

Major General Khali Ebrahim Al Mansour

Attacks in which criminals try to get bitcoin from their victims are seemingly increasing. As recently covered, two robbers used bear spray to steal from bitcoin ATMs in the United States earlier this month. CCTV footage of the robbery ended up on YouTube.

Chinese Yuan 'Inversely Correlated' with Bitcoin, Amidst US-China Trade Wars

Since January 2018, China and the US have been involved in an intense trade war in which both countries have significantly increased tariffs on imported goods and services.

Due partly to the rising tension between the two countries, the Chinese yuan (CNY) has been losing value against the USD. During the same time period, the price of bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptoassets has been surging.

As noted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the value of BTC, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, increased by 26.5% to $7,878 during the time period from May 5 to May 17. Notably, US President Donald Trump had announced on May 5 that he would further increase tariffs on goods imported from mainland China.

Chinese Yuan Weakens as Nation’s Government Responds to Increased Tariffs

The SCMP pointed out that the yuan dropped to its lowest level since the past six months after the Chinese government responded to Trump administration’s decision to impose higher tariffs on China.

Commenting on the price fluctuations of both the yuan and bitcoin, Garrick Hileman, a Macroeconomics Researcher at London School of Economics (LSE) and Head of Research at Blockchain.com, remarked:

We are observing a strong inverse correlation between the [Renminbi] RMB’s value and bitcoin, meaning that recent RMB declines over trade tensions have been closely matched by increases in the value of bitcoin.

“Correlation Does Not Necessarily Equal Causation”

Hileman also mentioned that we “cannot be 100% certain” that the bitcoin price has been increasing due to heightened concerns regarding trade tensions and the corresponding decline in the value of the yuan. The blockchain researcher stated:

Trade tensions and declines in the RMB’s exchange rate as correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Hileman, who earned his Phd from LSE, revealed:

This is not the first time we’ve seen significant increases in the value of bitcoin taking place alongside yuan concerns.

He added that there’s “growing recognition of bitcoin as ‘digital gold’ and it being used as a hedge against various macroeconomic risks.”

“This Year, the Narrative Is Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin”

According to the SCMP, bitcoin’s price may have surged recently due to the generally positive remarks made about it at the Consensus 2019 conference.

Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, has also confirmed recently that the narrative this year has been mostly about Bitcoin. Demirors revealed that both institutions and retail investors are “feeling good” and are “more confident” about the long-term potential of Bitcoin and the evolving ecosystem that supports it.