Four men have been arrested in Taiwan in connection with a bitcoin robbery worth five million Taiwanese dollars ($170,000 USD). Taiwan police have deemed it the first case of bitcoin robbery in the nation.
According to the authorities, three of the suspects arrange to meet the victim – with the surname of Tai – in the city of Taichung under the pretext that they were wanting to purchase bitcoins from him. Once the victim had evidenced that he possessed 18 bitcoin using his phone, the suspects assaulted him and his friend, before taking his and phone transferring 18 bitcoins from his wallet.
In an attempt to have the incident dismissed a drunken argument, the assailants forced the victims to drink a strong liquor known as Kaoliang, which is extremely popular in Taiwan.
Taiching city police arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a dispute and one man was detained. The two other suspected assailants were arrested later, one of whom was found hiding on the outlying island of Kinmen. The fourth individual, surnamed Shih, was later detained and is accused of being the mastermind behind the robbery.
The official police statement described the incident as the “first domestic case of bitcoin robbery.” It went on to say: “The police saw bloodstains at the scene…after further investigation, it was discovered to be a bitcoin virtual currency robbery.”
While it was the first case of its kind in Taiwan, this isn’t the first bitcoin robbery to happen globally. Last month, a similar incident occurred in the UK. Two cryptocurrency traders were robbed at gunpoint in their Oxfordshire home, with the aggressors taking the couple’s baby.
Also last month, three men armed with handguns attempted to rob the office of Canadian Bitcoins, an Ottawa-based bitcoin exchange. Four employees were bound, however an unseen fifth employee was able to contact police, who were able to thwart the robbery.