Man Fakes Own Kidnapping and Runs Off with USD 1.15M in Clients’ Bitcoin
The head of the biggest police agency in Venezuela says that a crypto go-between appears to have faked his own kidnapping as part of an audacious bid to disappear with some USD 1.15m worth of his customers’ bitcoin (BTC) funds.
Per El National and an Instagram post from Douglas Rico, the head of the Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas Penales y Criminalísticas (CICPC, translatable as the Corps of Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigation), the broker, Andrés Jesús Dos Santos Hernández, is a 23-year-old “financial advisor” who had access to his clients’ tokens and was keeping them in wallets on the Binance crypto exchange.
But Rico recounted that Hernández claimed he had been kidnapped and threatened, leaving him with no choice other than to access the wallets, withdraw the funds to “a range of different wallets” belonging to his assailants.
But Rico indicated that the CICPC, which answers to the Justice Ministry, was not buying Hernandez’s claim – and that the broker was now on the run. The agency wants to press money laundering and fraud charges against Hernández, Rico added.
Last year, a Binance user originally from Venezuela was allegedly scammed out of a whopping BTC 91 (USD 4.36m). Criptonoticias reported that a 29-year-old United States-based Venezuelan had been duped into handing over his tokens at the advice of an imposter posing as the Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.
The bogus CZ had seen an image the man had posted online, showing his young son selling lemonade and cookies for BTC, and struck up a conversation – it was a chat that eventually ended with the fake CZ telling the man about a new app that offered rewards for wallet-to-wallet transactions.
The man duly downloaded the app. But it turned out to be a nasty piece of malware that instead ended up transferring his funds out of his account to a wallet controlled by the scammer.