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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Dubai Police arrest gang over Bitcoin robbery

An elaborate plan included tricking a shop owner to hand over his keys so they could lure two Asian brothers into it with the promise of obtaining cryptocurrency

Dubai Police have arrested a gang for allegedly stealing Dh7 million from two Asian brothers after threatening them with sharp-edged weapons. Courtesy: Dubai Police
Dubai Police have arrested a gang for allegedly stealing Dh7 million from two Asian brothers after threatening them with sharp-edged weapons. Courtesy: Dubai Police

A gang has been arrested for stealing Dh7 million from two brothers who were trying to buy cryptocurrency, Dubai Police said.

The gang was made up of 10 members, who were all of Asian origin, and helmed by a GCC citizen.

The brothers - also of Asian origin - had been searching for a place to buy Bitcoin, Lt Colonel Al Joker, director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Dubai Police, said. The gang claimed they could sell it to them.

The head of the gang procured an office space by tricking a commercial shop owner in Al Muraqabbat, who was advertising to sell his office and trade licence.

"He told him that he wanted to buy his office and the licence and managed to get the key to check the office after 8pm, as the office will be empty after employees [left].

"The gang used the office to lure the two brothers to come to the office to sell them the Bitcoin," Lt Colonel Al Joker said.

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Six members of the gang waited for the two brothers inside the office while the other three stood guard.

Once the brothers arrived, the gang members assaulted them with sharp objects, threatened them and tied them up before stealing their money and fleeing the scene, Lt Col Al Joker said.

Police were alerted about an armed robbery in the Al Muraqabbat area on Wednesday, April 25.

Maj Gen Abdullah Al Marri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said the group was arrested less than 48 hours after receiving a report about the robbery.

He urged traders to be vigilant and not to be easy prey for criminals, and only deal with official bodies in the country to process their business transactions.