The craze to hold bitcoin has been increasing among the people. For this purpose, they are ready to commit any fraud or even indulge in kidnapping to realize the sizeable value of local currency. This is what has happened in Japan too where the police have arrested 12 people who have committed fraud worth $1.86 billion when dealing with a middle-aged businessman in exchange for bitcoin. The incident took place in July last year.
Fake Bills Provided
The victim has alleged that the fraudsters had offered to acquire bitcoin that is worth $1.76 million for $1.86 million in cash. That resulted in the businessman earning a clear profit of $93,000. However, he was cheated by providing fake bills in return for the virtual currency. That was a clear ploy adopted by the criminals to divert the attention of the victim and got access to the bitcoin, which witnessed a sharp increase until December last year from the preceding year.
The alleged fraud was the handiwork of Kenta Higashi, who was working in fruit and vegetable industry, apart from his 11 accomplices, btcmanager reported. All the 12 have given a lucrative offer to the businessman that he could not resist or say a firm no to the proposals. As a result, he was dragged into the net laid by the 12 accused. It only demonstrated that holding a bitcoin is more valued than gold because of quick realization of gain.
Based on the police investigation, it was reported that the alleged group of 12 criminals had presented about $1.85 million in cash to the victim’s agent at a hotel in Tokyo. Once the victim got to know that the agency has received the cash, he transferred the digital coin immediately to the fraudsters account through Yokohama cryptocurrency exchange. According to the investigating officials, fraudsters have already cashed out the transferred bitcoin whereas the victim has found that a big portion of the cash was only a counterfeit.
There is always an element of risk involved when dealing with over the counter (OTC) in respect of cryptocurrencies trading. While seven of the 12 were arrested on April 10, all the arrested people were pleading not guilty. Their motive was clear that they wanted to cash in on the booming digital currency market that saw a bumper year in 2017. The strong gain drove several people to resort to fresh techniques to loot money from investors.
Most of the Big Frauds
Incidentally, Japan has witnessed most of the big frauds since it was one of the most active markets or the second biggest as far as the cryptocurrency market is concerned. This included Mt. Gox and Coincheck. The recent statistics from the National Police Agency indicated that cryptocurrency scam had hit $6.2 million in 2017. Following the scams and thefts, the regulators in Japan have also tightened their screws on digital currency businesses.
The latest incident reminded a similar situation of 2017 when four persons had threatened an executive to giveaway the bitcoin that was in his possession. The victim managed to escape from the clutches of the fraudsters.