A 39-year-old Hong Kong man was kidnapped and held for ransom on November 6, 2021, after agreeing to meet a Tether buyer in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong. The man was lured into an industrial building, physically attacked there and forced to hand over his smartphone and password to exchanges where he stores his crypto assets.
He was detained in a building in Tai Po, northern Hong Kong, for almost a week. The kidnapper asked his family for $30 million as a ransom. On November 9, 2021, his family contacted the authorities. The police then rushed into the apartment where the victim was being held, and as the police approached the location, he managed to escape through the window.
The victim suffered physical injuries from the kidnappers, and a broken leg had to be hospitalised. Police have arrested seven people in connection with the abduction and are pursuing one other suspected of belonging to the Sun Yee On triad organised crime syndicate.
Alan Chung of the Western Region Criminal Investigation Department said they are investigating whether the victim was robbed after revealing the bank and cryptocurrency transaction passwords. A source told the South China Morning Post that the value of the victim’s cryptocurrency exceeded HK$20M. Hong Kong authorities have warned investors to take precautionary measures and only trade cryptocurrencies on legal platforms.
There was a similar incident in January 2021 when a woman lost HK$3M in P2P transactions. The criminals persuaded her to go to an office where she wanted to exchange USDT for Hong Kong dollars.
They watched her send USDT on her smartphone, but when she received the money, three more men stormed into the room. They stole her cell phone, tied her to a chair, and stole the money.
There’s a Need to Stay Alert
Regarding recent events and how well known blockchain and cryptocurrencies are, one needs to stay alert about meeting people or making transactions.
According to the South China Morning Post, one victim lost HK$124M in 2021, while the cumulative loss for the first half of 2021 stands at HK$214.4M from 496 reported cases.
In another case involving HK$124M, a group posing as cryptocurrency consultants disappeared with a 30-year-old man’s money.
Somewhere in Nigeria, there have been reports of crooked officials looting citizens of their crypto assets under the guise that cryptocurrencies are banned. Most scan their wallets and coerce citizens to send cryptos before they are released.