Cryptocurrency-related theft and robbery have risen significantly over the past couple of years. Yet another similar case unfolded as Syed Mokhtar Syed Yusope, 39, co-conspirator in a huge robbery case involving Bitcoin trading in 2018, pleaded guilty to the Singapore District Court on 10 September.
In a high-profile theft case, Syed Yusope along with two other accomplices Jaromel Gee Ming Li, 29, and Mohd Abdul Rahman Mohamad, 39, reportedly impersonated as a Bitcoin broker and stole $365,000 from the Malaysian man in the pretense of selling Bitcoins for cash in April 2018.
The victim, Pang Joon Hau, had come to Singapore to buy Bitcoins with cash and believed the men to be Bitcoin sellers, arranging to meet them in his hotel. According to the court documents, instead of transferring the promised Bitcoins, the criminals allegedly assaulted the victim and fled with a backpack of cash.
Additionally, Rahman roped in Syed Mokhtar to rob, intimidate, and assault the victim. The group reportedly devised plans to rob prospective buyers without actually transferring or selling any Bitcoins to them. The case involving the other two bogus Bitcoin brokers are pending at the court.
The report from The Straits Times also mentioned that Deputy Public Prosecutors [DPP] Chin Jincheng, Chong Yong, and Audrey Choo stated in court documents that the third man, Gee was involved in Bitcoin brokerage at the time. He allegedly presented himself as the seller and arranging transactions between the parties wishing to purchase and sell Bitcoins.
Mokhtar is currently out on bail and will be sentenced on Friday, 11th September.
In another similar incident a little over a year earlier, a Bitcoin trader’s home was raided by criminals looking for cryptocurrency. The robbers disguised as police personnel entered the victim’s home in Netherland and attacked him with a drill in front of his four-year-old daughter.