Bank heists and jewellery raids have been increasing in number over the years, with each one being more audacious than the last. Last November, antique jewellery worth almost a billion dollars were stolen from the Green Vault museum in Dresden and now the perpetrators were putting them up for auction.
The investigation agency in charge of finding the stolen goods revealed that two of the missing items were being offered on the dark web for almost $10 million, to be paid in Bitcoin.
The Dresden news had made a huge splash last year, becoming one of the biggest heists since the second World War. Three months after the event, the Israeli security company dealing with the case spotted the two missing items circulating on the dark web.
The offering includes the popular “Dresden White”, a shimmering 49-carat diamond that had stolen the show during its exhibition. Coincidentally, the “White” was also the single most expensive piece stolen in the heist.
The investigators were contacted by the perpetrators via an online chat where they demanded the price to be transferred in Bitcoin. Culprits often use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to conduct such transactions because they do not leave any trace on the blockchain.
Another popular piece, the Star of the Polish White Eagle is also being offered along with the White. The Israeli investigators confirmed that the former was offered completely intact. Regulatory authorities have not given out any intricate details of the hunt because of how easily information travels on the dark web. Bitcoin transactions are a resort for criminals to vanish into thin air and the Dresden criminals’ message echoed that message by saying:
“We have the Dresden White diamond and the star of the Polish White Eagle. These items are left and will be returned for a price. Please note we will not negotiate….You will not find us, don’t bother.”
The Tel Aviv-based CGI group pointed out that the rub and diamond-encrusted Diamond was being offered at a value much lesser than its actual worth. Zika Nave, the chief executive of the CGI Group said that the correspondence was done with someone called ” Dark Grim Reaper”, a handle used to mask the actual identity of the culprit.
Bitcoin scams have again begun to pop up because of the increasing volatility in the cryptocurrency space. As the price of the world’s largest digital asset grows, many wrongdoers believe that amassing ransom in Bitcoin would be more profitable than fiat.