Hong Kong Crypto Trader Kidnapped and Tortured for Ransom and Account Keys

A Hong-Kong man was recently kidnapped when he agreed to an in-person crypto sale in Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong.

A 39-year-old Hong Kong man was kidnapped on Nov 6, 2021, and held for ransom after agreeing to meet a buyer of Tether in Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong. The man was lured into an industrial building, where he was physically attacked and forced to give up his smartphone and passwords to trading platforms. He was held at a building in Tai Po in northern Hong Kong for almost a week. His captors demanded HK$30M from his family as a ransom. On Nov 9, 2021, his family contacted the authorities. The cops then stormed the residence where the victim was being held, and as officers were closing in on the location, he managed to escape through a window.

The victim had suffered physically at the hands of his captors and had leg fractures requiring hospitalization. Police have arrested seven people in connection with the kidnapping and are still hunting down another, all of whom are suspected to belong to the Sun Yee On triad organized crime syndicate.

Alan Chung of the West Regional Crime Unit said they are investigating whether the victim was robbed following the surrender of his banking and cryptocurrency trading passwords. A source told the South China Morning Post that the victim’s crypto holdings were worth more than HK$20M. Hong Kong authorities have warned investors to take precautions and only trade cryptocurrencies on legitimate platforms.

BeInCrypto reported on a similar incident in January 2021, when a woman lost HK$3.5M in a P2P transaction. The criminals coaxed her into an office where she was expecting to trade USDT for Hong Kong dollars.

They watched her send the USDT over her smartphone, but when she received the cash, a gang of three more men rushed into the room. They stole her phone and tied her to the chair, making off with the money.

Some concerning Hong Kong crypto stats

On Jan 4, 2021, robbers stole HK$3M from a man in his late thirties, where, after he sent the cryptocurrency, they kicked him out of the vehicle. They first handed over the cash, then took it back.

According to the South China Morning Post, one victim lost HK$124M in 2021, while the cumulative loss for the first half of 2021 stands at HK$214.4M from 496 reported cases.

In the case involving HK$124M, a group posing as cryptocurrency consultants disappeared with a 30-year-old man’s money. To illustrate how crimes have spiked in 2021, one can compare the stats above to the whole of 2020, where there were a total of 208 cases, incurring losses of HK$114.4M.


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