Vietanamese Men Allegedly Loses 1000 Bitcoins to Bad Investment Advice; Arrested for Revenge

Two Vietnamese police officers alongside 15 others have been charged for allegedly stealing $9.5 million worth of bitcoin (BTC) from a businessman, Vietnam Express reports today.

The police duo, Nguyen Quoc Dung and Nguyen Anh Tuan, were hired by a private investigator to trace the whereabouts of a businessman who was accused of giving wrong business advice that resulted in the loss of 1,000 BTC in 2018.

The Crux of the Matter

According to prosecutors, a businessman named Ho Ngoc Tai and others conducted crypto transactions with a crypto investor referred to as Le.

During the course of their business relationship, Tai sold 1,000 bitcoins worth around VND100 billion ($4 million) in 2018 when bitcoin had significantly lower prices, and reinvested the money into other cryptocurrencies, with the hope of making huge returns in the short term.

However, things did not go according to plan, as Tai and his accomplice, Tran Ngoc Hoang, lost everything in the failed business deal.

Not happy with the development, Tai and his business partners accused Le of giving him bad business advice, thus resulting in the loss of the funds.

In a bid to recover his losses from Le, Tai contacted a private investigator and paid the sum of VND25 million ($1,000) for him to locate Le. The investigator, after receiving Le’s personal information from Tai, hired the two police officers to help in the search.

Prosecutors noted that the private investigator used surveillance technology to trace Le and ended up locating him in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

The Robbery Incident

On May 12, 2020, Tai and some of the accomplice trailed Le’s car to an apartment in District 2, and on reaching the Thoi Dai bridge, one of the accomplices rammed his motorbike into Le’s car with the hope of kidnapping him when he comes out to check the extent of the damage.

Upon sensing danger, Le did not get out of the car, instead he drove away. Five days later, the group intercepted Le and his family in Dong Nai and issued several threats to him and members of his family for him to disclose the password to his cryptocurrency wallet.

Le was held in their custody for over two hours. He was forced to call his brother to transfer 1,000 bitcoins ($56.7 million) to them. However, Le screamed during the phone conversation with his brother, to alert him that he was under duress.

The group fled the scene, taking with them phones and cameras, in order to destroy the evidence.

Le and his family reported the incident to the police and further investigations revealed that the group stole 168 units of BTC (worth $9.5 million at today’s prices) as well as properties worth VND45 million ($1,800). The culprits were apprehended in June and could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the offense, the report added.