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Japan Police Apprehends 12 People in An “Over the Counter” Bitcoin Fraud Deal

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Japan Police Apprehends 12 People in An “Over the Counter” Bitcoin Fraud Deal

The Tokyo Reporter revealed that Japanese police apprehended 12 people who embezzled bitcoin worth $1.86 million from a middle-aged businessman in July.

According to the victim, the delinquents offered to purchase bitcoin worth $1.76 million for $1.86 million in cash, earning the seller a profit of $93,000. The victim accused the counterparty of providing fake bills, in return for the bitcoin.  

Bitcoin Investors Fall for a Phony Lucrative Offer

Accused Kenta Higashi, an employee in fruit and vegetable industry, with his 11 accomplices presented a lucrative offer to the businessman, which he could not deny.  

According to the police investigation, the suspected group of twelve people presented $1.86 million in cash to an agent of the victim, at a hotel in Tokyo. When the agent received the cash, he immediately transferred the bitcoin to the account of the fraudsters through a cryptocurrency exchange in the second largest city in Japan – Yokohama.

The police stated that the transferred bitcoin have already been cashed out by the alleged fraudsters only to discover later that majority of the cash is counterfeit.

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Over the Counter Deals: A Risky Trade

Over the counter, trades are always risky when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Since 2017, the crypto market is booming which is the reason many wrongdoers find new techniques to swindle money from crypto investors. All the 12 people arrested are pleading not guilty; as per Sankei, the first seven men were arrested on April 10.

The recent embezzlement case, echoes with a similar situation in 2017 where four ruffians threatened an executive of a company with a knife to giveaway bitcoin in possession. The incident also occurred at a hotel in Akasaka – a residential district in Tokyo. However, the victim was able to escape safely with the bitcoin.

Japan has been one of the most active markets for cryptocurrencies. However, most of the major frauds, the likes of Mt. Gox, and Coincheck have also occurred in the country.

According to the recently released statistics by the National Police Agency (NPA), for the year 2017, cryptocurrency scam amounted to $6.2 million. Looking into the statistics, Japanese regulators have tightened their grip on crypto businesses.  

 

Should investors be more vigilant when dealing with Bitcoins? Share your views in the comments section.

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