A Singaporean man has been found guilty of stealing $360,000. He was not alone in this theft, however. Two partners were involved in this theft with him. The cases on two of them are yet to be run.
This man was the major suspect for this theft of $360k. After a lot of interrogation and investigation, he pleaded to be guilty in front of a Singaporean court. Syed Mokhtar Syed Yusope, the robber himself pleaded in front of a district court in Singapore on September 9.
The Straits Time, a news agency in Singapore confirmed in its reports. Mukhtar along with his two accomplices, Jaromel Gee Ming Li and Mohd Abdul Rahman Mohamad duped a man with $360k by claiming to have Bitcoins.
Three of them planned this robbery in April 2018. Mukhtar was the main culprit because he intimidated a Malaysian victim directly. He claimed to be a Bitcoin broker and convinced the victim that he has Bitcoins.
Malaysian Pang Jong Hau arrived at the Hotel 81 on April 8, 2018. This was the day when he met the robbers. He had cash worth of $365,000 in his possession. He tried to know about any broker who can sell him Bitcoins. Gee got to know about his intentions first.
Later he told Abdul to involve someone else in the robbery of cash. That’s when Mukhtar was introduced as a broker to the Malaysian man. Mukhtar met Mr. Pang around 11 pm on the day of the robbery. He entered into Pang’s room and asked where the money is.
After Mukhtar found the bag of cash, he punched Pang on the face. Another Bitcoin broker, Mr. Lee Chee Kwok was also present in the room. He tried to intervene but Mukhtar was successful in stealing cash away from them. Three of them convinced him to provide him with Bitcoins but instead, robbed $360k worth of cash.
Mukhtar was rewarded with $10,000 by the duo of Abdul and Gee. Mukhtar is now out on a bail worth of $30,000 but will be sentenced in some days. It is still not clear whether the court authorities are successful in recovering the remaining amount or not.
After completely convincing the victim about trading Bitcoins in exchange for money, they robbed an entire amount of $360,000. Gee presented himself as a Bitcoin seller in front of the victim. He later involved, Abdul Rahman to arrange the transaction.
This is not the only fraud they are involved in. In April 2018, Mokhtar and Abdul scammed a man in exchange for luxury goods. According to the report, they robbed $80,000 from that man. Both of them claimed to sell him a Rolex watch worth $45,800.
There are numerous scams around Bitcoins around the world. To our dismay, the frauds have just increased in the past year instead of decreasing. According to a report, cryptocurrency-related frauds have surged to $4.4 billion from $1.7 billion in the year 2018. It only means the scams and frauds are increasing.
There were two major scams in the year 2019 that resulted in larger sums of cryptocurrency theft. One of them was the PlusToken scheme that was able to steal $2.9 billion of Bitcoins. Another one was the QuadrigaCX crypto exchange scam that contributed to the crypto loss of $195 million.
A blockchain tracking and analytics firm, Whale Alert confirmed that scammers have stolen $38 million worth of Bitcoins in the duration of the past four years. Now, this is a massive surge in the Bitcoin frauds and it has to be prevented with strong KYC systems.
All of these scams happened despite the strong KYC standards and other secure servers. The hackers and scammers were successful to steal more Bitcoins from weak exchanges or any exchange that had unsafe KYC standards.
Global financial authorities are working to combat Bitcoin-related scams combine but new attacks also keep on increasing. Every other country is passing new laws and regulations to restrict the crypto criminal activities. For example, the United States government has issued a cease-and-desist order on a duo of crypto-related frauds.
This order was issued in September 2020. These frauds included two schemes namely, Forex Birds and PEK Universe. Both of these were carried by a group of scammers that claimed to give more than 11% return on investment to the investors. These scammers were also claiming to be registered under the financial authorities of Europe and Australia.
The United States government is the only one that has issued a law against crypto crimes. Hong Kong, on the other hand, arrested three men who were trying to steal 226,000 Hong Kong dollars from Bitcoin ATMs.
The Bitcoin scams seem planned and executed neatly but authorities of the respective countries are also working against these scams. It is an advice for the investors that it doesn’t matter how lucrative the scheme seems, always ask the local regulator about the investment schemes and registered brokers.