Five cleared in Dhs800,000 Bitcoin scam - GulfToday

Five cleared in Dhs800,000 Bitcoin scam

Bitcoin

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

Five men suspected to have connived with bogus Bitcoin dealers in robbing Dhs800,000 have won a second acquittal at the Dubai Appeals Court.

An Asian manager, employee, and businessman confined a Chinese trader and his countrymen inside a Dubai office and decamped with his cash at around 4pm on March 29 last year, records showed.

In the case an Asian business associate, 35, driver, 37, and three unemployed Asian men (aged 40, 44 and 37) were also hauled into court following allegations that they abetted the confinement and robbery.

All the eight defendants denied the charges. The Dubai Criminal Court convicted the manager, employee and businessman and sentenced them to one year behind bars to be followed by deportation.

It cleared the business associate, driver and three unemployed men of all charges citing uncorroborated evidence. Prosecutors protested the acquittal. However, the Appeals Court has upheld the decision.

In prosecution records, the trader’s business partner narrated that an Asian posted an ad on Facebook claiming he was dealing in Bitcoins. “He convinced me he had 400 Bitcoins for sale at Dhs800,000.

“The trader arranged the sum. Upon our arrival at the office, the employee welcomed us in. The manager showed us documents and photos of Bitcoins on his computer. He sent messages using his mobile. Three men posing as detectives entered, shouted, tied us and robbed us,” he complained. The trader complained, “We went to the office in Al Rifa’a area. The employee had a look at the money. The manager also examined the money then showed us photos of Bitcoins on his computer. He returned to his seat. He was using his mobile in a manner that appeared he was sending messages.

“After three minutes, three men in Emirati attire entered the office saying they were detectives. They ordered us not to move. They intimidated and ordered us to lie down for a search operation.

“They tied us with plastic handcuffs, locked the door and fled with the cash and our mobiles. The employee returned and untied the manager. The manager fled. We stopped the employee from escaping.” An Emirati lieutenant said surveillance cameras captured the getaway car obtained from a rental firm by the manager. He admitted he offered the gang to use his office for a three-hour period against Dhs3,000.