Police in Dubai have arrested ten members of a gang who reportedly stole 7 mln AED ($1.9 mln) in an armed Bitcoin heist in the Al Muraqqabat area of Dubai on Wednesday, Gulf News reports Sunday, April 29. Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker, Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), told Gulf News:
"The brothers searched randomly in the market to buy Bitcoin. The gang lured them claiming they can sell them Bitcoin.”
The victims, reported to be two brothers, arranged to meet members of the gang to settle the transaction in an empty office, where they were then assaulted and robbed at gunpoint. Six gang members are said to have been waiting for the brothers inside the office, with three others keeping guard outside. According to Lt. Col. Al Joker:
“[The gang] assaulted the two brothers and threatened them, before ty[ing] their hands and lock[ing] them inside the office, escap[ing] with the money.”
The gang allegedly procured the keys to the office premises by deceiving a local commercial shop owner into thinking they were interested in purchasing his licensed property, Gulf News further reports.
Police were alerted to the armed robbery on the same night, April 25, and identified the gang’s leader, a Gulf National, within four hours. He was arrested in a neighbouring emirate and confessed the crime. Within 48 hours, police had located the locations of his accomplices across four different emirates, arresting all ten and recovering the stolen funds.
Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said that Dubai Police’s data analysis center had implemented smart programmes and artificial intelligence technology to swiftly trace the gang.
All ten suspects have now been referred to the public prosecution for further investigation.
Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported on a heist involving an in-person Bitcoin transaction in Singapore, in which a Malaysian man was assaulted and robbed of $365,000 in cash by two bogus Bitcoin brokers in his hotel.
In January, a St. Petersburg crypto blogger was robbed of 24 mln rubles (roughly $380 mln) in cash from a safe in his home, after he had “boasted” of his crypto-derived wealth online.