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.

Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Enables Trading in 40 Different Currency Pairs

New Zealand-based digital asset exchange, Cryptopia has reportedly resumed trading on its exchange as it is now allowing 40 different trading pairs. This, after Cryptopia recently experienced from several different security breaches.

Support For Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin Pairs Added

Cryptopia’s management announced (via Twitter on March 18th) that it is planning to expand its list of coins which will again be supported on its trading platform. As noted on Cryptopia’s official support website, the exchange has enabled several different trading pairs (as of March 19th, 2019) with major cryptocurrencies. These include bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and dogecoin (DOGE).

In response to Cryptopia’s announcement, Twitter user @dgb-chilling, a supporter of DigiByte (DGB), a cryptocurrency that uses five different mining algorithms, said that he had emailed the exchange’s support team to inform them regarding the coin’s latest update (version 6.17.2). He added that “an upgrade was recommended but not mandatory.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Norris (@CryptoTweet6) remarked: 

Now this is good news! Let’s hope the rest of the coins will be released for trading swiftly.

Other users also considered it “good news” that the compromised cryptoasset exchange was gradually resuming its operations. However, one social media user asked when Cryptopia would start enabling deposits while another inquired about why his ARK coins were still not recoverable from the trading platform. He claimed that he had deposited 1,000 ARK, currently valued at around $628, (a popular proof-of-stake based coin) on Cryptopia. The user also complained that his coins were missing “missing because [the exchange] did not update the ARK wallet."

Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Stolen In Hack

On February 27th, 2019, Cryptopia’s management announced that it was “assessing the impact incurred as a result of the hack” which led to the theft of tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Last month, Cryptopia’s support team had also estimated that the total loss incurred due to the security breaches was of around 10% of its total holdings (in the worst-case scenario).

Notably, the exchange’s official Twitter account had been silent for several weeks (since Feburary 14th). However, it released several announcements, starting in late February, in which it revealed that its staff members were working on securing each customer’s account individually. Cryptopia’s management also noted that it was taking the appropriate measures to ensure that its trading platform is secure when it is officially back online.