The rise of cryptocurrency has brought many opportunities for investment, but such wealth potential has also attracted criminals. A recent example is of a Bitcoin robbery in Singapore, in which the victim was robbed of over $278,000 USD.
The Singaporean police force has recently announced a robbery case involving a Bitcoin transaction. Pang Joon Hau, a Malaysian man, traveled to Singapore on April 8th in search of Bitcoin sellers.
Carrying Lots of Cash Not a Wise Decision
Pang contacted a broker in Singapore, who then met with Pang at his hotel where the two of them waited for the seller to show up.
Bitcoin buyer robbed of RM1mil in cashhttps://t.co/Nlam7qviue pic.twitter.com/tmUzWqD4nE
— The Star (@staronline) April 12, 2018
The “seller” eventually showed up, accompanied by his “broker.” Once it was ascertained that Pang was carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash without any sort of security protection, the criminals then assaulted Pang and his broker. The criminals then fled, carrying with them roughly the $278,000 USD Pang had brought with him.
Pang Joon Hau quickly filed a report after the robbery, which allowed the police to glean more information about the suspected criminals. After some intensive groundwork, the local Singaporean police announced last Thursday that they had captured the two criminals.
Mohd Abdul Rahman Mohamad, the Bitcoin “broker,” was arrested at a hotel in a smaller Singaporean district, Sentosa, and was charged with robbery by the police. However, the police also suspect that he is involved with another robbery case earlier in the year where he robbed over $150,000 Singaporean dollars worth of expensive items from a home.
However, some believe that before he was arrested, the criminal had already spent over $60,000 USD on a luxurious shopping spree, with some reporting that he spent some of the money on luxury watches. Due to the Bitcoin robbery involving an intent to hurt, he could be put in jail for a minimum of 5 years, a lengthy sentence to say the least.
Syed Mokhtar Syed Yusope, his partner in crime, was arrested at a rail transit station with his 10,000 Singaporean dollar share of the stolen amount as he attempted to evade capture by police forces.
Could the Buyer Also Be in the Wrong?
However, the unsuspecting buyer, Pang Joon Hau, has also been put under scrutiny by the police in Singapore as Arthur Law, Commander of Central Police Division Assistant Commissioner, mentioned that it was not normal for such transactions to be arranged that featured a large amount of physical cash to be exchanged for Bitcoin. The police are currently investigating the source of the funds carried by Pang.
It is gratifying to see that the criminals were apprehended. Arthur Law adds:
The Police will not condone anyone committing such serious offenses and profiting from the proceeds of the crime. We will spare no efforts in pursuing such criminals and deal with them in accordance with the law.
As always, one should always exercise extreme caution when buying bitcoins in person. The possibility of being robbed is always there, so it’s best to remain cautious and stay vigilant.
Why do you think about this Bitcoin robbery? Would you carry such a large sum of money to a meeting with people you do not know? Please let us know in the comments below.
Images Courtesy of Pexels, Pixabay, and Twitter/@staronline.
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Written by Nick Chong @ http://bitcoinist.com/malaysian-bitcoin-buyer-loses-275000-usd-robbery/ April 16, 2018 Nick Chong