Criminals Posing As Bitcoin Dealers Referred To Dubai Authorities For Robbery

Kevin O'Brien

Several members of a group who allegedly posed as bitcoin dealers and detectives to rob a Chinese trader have been referred to the Dubai Criminal Court, according to Gulf Today.

Authorities in the country believe the group carried out a scheme back on March 29th that swindled a Chinese trader out of Dhs 800,000 ($217,805). Lawyers representing the defendants are currently expected to enter pleas on January 3rd.

Posing As Fake Bitcoin Dealers To Steal Money

Gulf Today reported that the Chinese trader arranged to purchase 400 bitcoins from one member of the criminal group who wrote a post on Facebook claiming to be a  bitcoin dealer.

The trader, alongside three countrymen, went to an office inside of the Al Rifa’a area of Dubai in March to purchase the cryptocurrency.

One of the group members showed photos of the purported bitcoins on a computer after reviewing the trader’s money. The trader later indicated the member was then “using his mobile phone in a manner that appeared he was sending messages.”

According to the report, immediately after, three men posing as fake detectives came into the room. They tied up the trader and his accomplishes and left with the money and a few cell phones. The fake detectives said they were in the office to conduct a search operation.

Authorities said thta they managed to get video footage of the group’s getaway car and also arrested a manager who said he offered use of his office to the gang for three hours in exchange for Dhs 3,000 ($816.77). Investigators indicated the entire plot was masterminded by a friend of the manager.

Numerous Instances Of Violence And Torture To Steal Cryptocurrency

Criminals have not been hesitant about resorting to violence, and even torture, in order to steal cryptocurrencies.

In early November, a group of men allegedly tortured a friend after a night of drinking to get him to divulge crypto account information, according to a complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The group of four allegedly ransacked the apartment of Nicholas Truglia, held his head underwater, punched him in the stomach, and threw hot wax on his body. Truliga told authorities the men made off with two phones, a laptop, and a flash drive with his cryptocurrency account information.

The New York Post said it was not clear in the complaint if they actually stole any cryptocurrency. A lawyer for the defendants denied the allegations and noted how Truliga allegedly recanted his allegations.

The men, charged with one count of second-degree burglary each, are set to return to court in March to see if they will be indicted.

Earlier this month, CryptoGlobe reported on a South African bitcoin trader who was reportedly drugged, beaten, and forced to give over the password to his bitcoin wallet. The trader, identified only with the name ‘Andrew,’ was burned with a hot iron and threatened with death until he transferred about $59,000 dollar’s worth of bitcoin to his attackers.

The attackers also took money from his bank account, cash, two iPhones, and two laptops.