Business 29 March 2019Neil Mathew
7 linked to crypto ransom racket busted in Pakistan
There are crimes of all kinds that take place every day, but many cryptocurrency proponents worry when the crimes involve cryptocurrency, as it might affect the overall public perception of the sector. There are various high-profile finance figures that are always trying to claim that criminals use digital assets to avoid scrutiny, and try to advance this narrative constantly for their own interests. However, it does appear as though a gang was busted in Pakistan that was demanding Bitcoin Core (BTC) for ransom, Dawn reported.
The Lahore police uncovered the gang in Lahore, which is the second most-populous city in the country after Karachi. Interestingly enough, a phone operator in Lahore’s Deputy Commissioner by the name of Mazhar Abbas was involved in the gang. He was arrested on March 23, 2019, while attending an official ceremony, authorities said.
Abbas did not act alone, investigators said, as there were seven individuals in the gang, and they apparently were not the criminals you might expect. Specifically, two members of the gang were police constables, and others were money exchange and Bitcoin exchange dealers.
It’s considered to be the first incident of its kind in Pakistan, but authorities are already concerned about whether cryptocurrency crime will now be a rising trend of some kind. The gang had kidnapped a hostage and demanded over 140,000 in BTC as a result, and had already received thousands of dollars in Bitcoin at the time of the bust. The fact that some of the money was already paid helped the authorities track down the criminals.
The individual arrested was a professor by the name of Shahid Nasser, who teaches information technology. Apparently, a student of his by the name of Faisal Yousuf was also involved in the criminal plan, as well.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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