The status of cryptocurrencies in the UAE is quite complicated. However, for all practical purposes, trading of virtual currencies is banned in the nation. Sharjah Police has now arrested a Pakistani national who conned an Indian national worth $545,000 in cash under the pretext of transferring him Bitcoins. The money has now been recovered and is being transferred back to the victim of the fraud.
Allegedly, this Bitcoin scammer called his victim in a mall where the cash exchange took place. He proceeded to use his laptop and perform some actions which led to the victim believing that Bitcoins had been transferred to his account. Following this transaction, the Pakistani fraudster fled the scene stating he got a call from his wife who was in the car. The Criminal Investigation Department of the Sharjah Police has now found the man and arrested him for fraud.
The police states that the victim of this fraud did have prior knowledge of trading cryptocurrencies on online platforms. It was on one such online platform that he came across this fraudster who was willing to trade Bitcoin for cash. The two got in touch and decided to meet at the Sharjah Mall for a cash transaction. Following the Pakistani fraudster fleeing the scene, his Indian victim tried calling him multiple times but was unable to reach this. It was after these attempts that he got in touch with the police.
The fraudster was later traced from his home by the Sharjah Police. Most of the cash was found from his home and was paid back to the victim. As per Lt Col Mohammed Hasan Al Shamsi, the head of the criminal investigations department, the fraudster has confessed to his crime and is now going to be prosecuted for the same.
This is one of the biggest reasons that people do not prefer to make cryptocurrency transactions in cash. Chances of a fraud are really high, especially if you do not know the person you are dealing with - which is the situation in most of these cases. While in this case, the victim was lucky enough to get his cash back, there are many cases in which the fraudsters escape and are never found again. Extreme caution should be taken if you are dealing in a cash transaction of cryptocurrencies.
There has been a marked rise in cryptocurrency related crime over the past few years. While most of it is still cybercrime, there are a number of cases which are now falling under the category of actual, physical crime. The kidnapping of the EXMO CEO in Ukraine, an attack on a couple in Oxfordshire and a Russian blogger being attacked for his Bitcoins - such cases are on the rise and are quite a scary situation. This is one of the reasons why most cryptocurrency holders tend to maintain a low profile. And talking of low-profiles, a $545,000 cash transaction in a mall is certainly not low-profile!