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Author Topic: [2018-04-16] Buyer Loses $278,000 USD in Bitcoin Robbery  (Read 105 times)
ivanpoldark
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April 16, 2018, 07:18:56 AM
 #1

The rise of cryptocurrency has brought many opportunities for investment, but such wealth potential has also attracted criminals. A recent example is of a Bitcoin robbery in Singapore, in which the victim was robbed of over $278,000 USD.

The Singaporean police force has recently announced a robbery case involving a Bitcoin transaction. Pang Joon Hau, a Malaysian man, traveled to Singapore on April 8th in search of Bitcoin sellers.

Carrying lots of cash not a wise decision

Pang contacted a broker in Singapore, who then met with Pang at his hotel where the two of them waited for the seller to show up.

The “seller” eventually showed up, accompanied by his “broker.” Once it was ascertained that Pang was carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash without any sort of security protection, the criminals then assaulted Pang and his broker. The criminals then fled, carrying with them roughly the $278,000 USD Pang had brought with him.

Pang Joon Hau quickly filed a report after the robbery, which allowed the police to glean more information about the suspected criminals. After some intensive groundwork, the local Singaporean police announced last Thursday that they had captured the two criminals.

Mohd Abdul Rahman Mohamad, the Bitcoin “broker,” was arrested at a hotel in a smaller Singaporean district, Sentosa, and was charged with robbery by the police. However, the police also suspect that he is involved with another robbery case earlier in the year where he robbed over $150,000 Singaporean dollars worth of expensive items from a home.

However, some believe that before he was arrested, the criminal had already spent over $60,000 USD on a luxurious shopping spree, with some reporting that he spent some of the money on luxury watches. Due to the Bitcoin robbery involving an intent to hurt, he could be put in jail for a minimum of 5 years, a lengthy sentence to say the least.

Syed Mokhtar Syed Yusope, his partner in crime, was arrested at a rail transit station with his 10,000 Singaporean dollar share of the stolen amount as he attempted to evade capture by police forces.

Could the buyer also be in the wrong?


However, the unsuspecting buyer, Pang Joon Hau, has also been put under scrutiny by the police in Singapore as Arthur Law, Commander of Central Police Division Assistant Commissioner, mentioned that it was not normal for such transactions to be arranged that featured a large amount of physical cash to be exchanged for Bitcoin. The police are currently investigating the source of the funds carried by Pang.

It is gratifying to see that the criminals were apprehended. Arthur Law adds:

Quote
The Police will not condone anyone committing such serious offenses and profiting from the proceeds of the crime. We will spare no efforts in pursuing such criminals and deal with them in accordance with the law.

As always, one should always exercise extreme caution when buying bitcoins in person. The possibility of being robbed is always there, so it’s best to remain cautious and stay vigilant.

http://bitcoinist.com/malaysian-bitcoin-buyer-loses-275000-usd-robbery/

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April 16, 2018, 10:19:25 AM
 #2

It's impossible to completely protect yourself as buyer or seller. It's mind boggling that someone actually carries around that much in cash money. If I was in his position, instead of taking that nearly $280,000 with me, I would buy like 1BTC per time to minimize the risks as much as possible. Eventually later on, when you have done plenty of business with a buyer or seller resulting in a 'trusted' financial connection, you could always increase the value of each transaction. Don't get me wrong, 1BTC at $8000 is still a lot in cash money, but everything is better than exposing yourself to insane risks with more than a quarter of a million dollars in cash. Nothing in the world justifies that sort of practices with buyers or sellers that you don't know. It's retarded and just points out how greed makes people do stupid things.

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April 16, 2018, 11:34:10 AM
 #3

Hmmm. Doesn't seems right. Why the hell would I bring tons of cash to do transaction with someone who I haven't met and without security escorts to protect yourself in case something worst happens (which eventually did).  I'm glad though that Singaporean authorities were able to capture the criminals. Let this be a lesson learned for others who will transact large quantities of cash, its better to do transaction in small portions as what @1Referee said. Good thing that the criminals didn't do anything worst here (kill Mr. Pang).

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April 16, 2018, 12:20:18 PM
 #4

$278000 is a lot of cash for a single individual to be moving around with. Even bullion vans despite the security still get robbed let alone an individual who just happens to have $278000 in physical cash.

 I also agree with the Police for putting Mr. Pang, the victim, under scrutiny, one can not rule out the victim of being involved in some shady deal too.
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April 16, 2018, 10:43:11 PM
 #5

I also agree with the Police for putting Mr. Pang, the victim, under scrutiny, one can not rule out the victim of being involved in some shady deal too.
While I do agree that it's pretty unusual for someone to have that much foreign fiat currency with him in physical form, it's also not very fair to put people in a certain category by default just because of that.

The article itself is pretty simple in its setup and doesn't contain much actually valuable information. People aren't necessarily involved in shady practices if they have that much physical fiat on hand.

It might very well have been a person who was desperately looking to get rid of his fiat exposure, and for that reason wanted to acquire a large number of coins at once. It's not good to automatically expect the worst.

I must however admit that it's pretty stupid to openly walk around with that much fiat. Even drug dealers don't walk around with much physical fiat anymore because of how they are being hunted down by rippers.

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April 16, 2018, 10:47:08 PM
Last edit: April 16, 2018, 11:50:22 PM by BTCMILLIONAIRE
 #6

The buyer was stupid, but not wrong and even implicitely comparing him to the robber is just poor journalism. There's nothing illegal about buying things in cash, even if the sums are in the hundreds of thousands. He certainly is a moron for walking around with that kind of money without protection though. Especially since the "broker" was clearly a shady figure with no reputation.
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April 16, 2018, 11:19:06 PM
Last edit: April 18, 2018, 12:39:42 AM by Sir Cross
 #7

It's never a wise decision to carry a huge amount of physical cash with you. It's not always safe no matter where you are. Transactions concerning that much money should be done in a different manner. Could it not have been done in tranches instead of just one lump sum? Also, if the seller is not a trustworthy one, he should not have jumped and made a transaction which concerned hundreds of thousands of dollars. He should have first made a verification of the merchant.

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April 17, 2018, 12:05:08 AM
 #8

Security issues aside I don't think it's unreasonable for the Singaporean police to examine the source of the funds in this case.

The buyer was purchasing about 35 BTC which is unusual.  It is even more unusual to purchase the BTC using cash in a hotel room. 

Usually this type of Over the Counter (OTC) transaction would pay using a wire transfer and some sort of escrow service to make sure each side holds up their part of the arrangement. 

Singapore is a major financial center which has a higher usage of crypto than in the West so I'm sure the police were wondering why this 'business transaction' was processed in this manner. 
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April 17, 2018, 01:24:44 AM
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Security issues aside I don't think it's unreasonable for the Singaporean police to examine the source of the funds in this case.

The buyer was purchasing about 35 BTC which is unusual.  It is even more unusual to purchase the BTC using cash in a hotel room. 

Usually this type of Over the Counter (OTC) transaction would pay using a wire transfer and some sort of escrow service to make sure each side holds up their part of the arrangement. 

Singapore is a major financial center which has a higher usage of crypto than in the West so I'm sure the police were wondering why this 'business transaction' was processed in this manner. 

Other than theft, it's possible that another illegal activity may be underlying to this transaction. It could possibly be money laundering or money to be used for the purchase of illegal material such as drugs etc. The amount is too huge, even for a big time investor. Even if it were in fiat, the authority would find the amount to be suspicious and even if the theft did not occur, it should still be looked into.
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April 17, 2018, 05:18:06 AM
 #10



This is what you got when you lost your common sense. We live in a world where trust is a rare commodity...we should not even totally trust people whom we know all of our lives much more with anybody whom we have never meet not even once. There is a big lesson to be learned and it does not matter if it is involving Bitcoin or any other transaction. Bringing with you a big amount of cash means you are endangering the money and even your own life. We have to always use our good analytical thinking all the time when dealing with money...especially a big amount of money for that matter.


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April 17, 2018, 04:02:42 PM
 #11

Hmmm. Doesn't seems right. Why the hell would I bring tons of cash to do transaction with someone who I haven't met and without security escorts to protect yourself in case something worst happens (which eventually did).  I'm glad though that Singaporean authorities were able to capture the criminals. Let this be a lesson learned for others who will transact large quantities of cash, its better to do transaction in small portions as what @1Referee said. Good thing that the criminals didn't do anything worst here (kill Mr. Pang).

Because probably he has troubles saying from where all that cash is coming.
In Europe you can't do deals bigger than 10k euros without a bank, probably Singapore has it's limits also. so from the start he knew that he is going to get involved in somethign shady.

Buying 35 BTC in cash? Sorry but it stinks so much of tax evasion I can't feel sorry for the buyer.

The buyer was stupid, but not wrong and even implicitely comparing him to the robber is just poor journalism. There's nothing illegal about buying things in cash, even if the sums are in the hundreds of thousands.

Are you sure about that?
Singapore has a deal in which every purchase over 20 000 in precious metals must be recorded.
Same stand for casino gains over 10 000.
There is paragraph that all transfers of financial instruments are also subject to this.

I don't know how bitcoin is viewed there currently, (wiki is outdated) but one thins is clear.
That guy wasn't an innocent pink angel.

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April 17, 2018, 04:17:46 PM
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That guy wasn't an innocent pink angel.

How so? Just because he is having that much money on him? It could as well be a so called Bitcoin mule trying to acquire as many coins as possible in the overall friendly market nature of Singapore, where the coins would be sold elsewhere for a premium, likely to people looking to buy Bitcoin where they aren't able to do so because of their wasted government. You are doing exactly what the mainstream media is doing, which just pathetic. Your view is only based on an article, and nothing else. Let's not throw around with opinions that don't have any foundation or justification. We know how it is when the mainstream media is doing it to us, so let's not copy that behavior and do it to others....
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April 17, 2018, 04:44:07 PM
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Nobody is 100% protected from this. The only way to avoid situations like this is not to carry hundreds of thousands of dollars with you and make transactions online
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April 17, 2018, 05:19:17 PM
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One more proof of the statement "don't believe, think about the worst and act according to this"
For me it looks a bit supid, to be honest
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April 18, 2018, 11:38:52 AM
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not the first one and,sadly,not the last one,but the sum is somewhat outrageously high
this guy must have been nuts to carry that much money with him first place and you cannot just trade 278k$ in cash for bitcoins and expect not to be robbed
there were similar stories the place where I live,involving Localbitcoins traders
the scheme was simple yet very effective: a criminal rents an appartment ground floor with two exits
arranges a meeting with a buyer (cash only of course) then under the pretext of checking the notes,goes to the back room and disappears with the money through the fire exit
the sums were around 12k $ total

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April 18, 2018, 02:50:00 PM
 #16

You are doing exactly what the mainstream media is doing, which just pathetic. Your view is only based on an article, and nothing else. Let's not throw around with opinions that don't have any foundation or justification. We know how it is when the mainstream media is doing it to us, so let's not copy that behavior and do it to others....

So the bitcoinist is part of the evil mainstream media...nice to hear that
http://bitcoinist.com/malaysian-bitcoin-buyer-loses-275000-usd-robbery/

How so? Just because he is having that much money on him? It could as well be a so called Bitcoin mule trying to acquire as many coins as possible in the overall friendly market nature of Singapore,

The friendly market nature of Singapore is this:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-singapore-cenbank-cryptocurrencies/bitcoin-warnings-grow-more-strident-as-singapore-urges-extreme-caution-idUSKBN1ED151

And further more:
Quote
Businesses that deal with Bitcoin currency exchanges will be taxed based on their Bitcoin sales

So, that's exactly what I was telling you,  but I was using arguments and facts while you where just calling my view "pathetic", which I have to say it was a bit overboard.

I could do the same for you as you seem to have a way of defending everyone that is involved bitcoins , no matter if he is maybe a robber, a tax evasionist, probably you're going to defend those two mobsters that shot a guy for not making his quota on bitcoin mining as they are all part of the propaganda by the mainstream media.

Now, use logic, why would somebody go with more 278 000$ to buy coins in person and not via an exchange.

1) He was hiding his activities, and so breaking the law
2) He was just trying to get a better price...

Now to this better price argument, why would somebody sell you 35 Bitcoins cheaper that the market. Obviously he must avoid banks because he is doing his part of tax evasion or he is just trying to unload some dirty coins.
No way a sane person with nothing to fear would go in a shady bar with 280 000$ on him and buy coins from a stranger.

No matter who is reporting this, it can be BBC CNN or Cartoon Network, when I hear somebody in a country that prohibits via AML purchases over 50 000$ in cash, and has laws on taxing is running around with 280 000$ he has something to hide.


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April 18, 2018, 05:12:00 PM
 #17

not the first one and,sadly,not the last one,but the sum is somewhat outrageously high
this guy must have been nuts to carry that much money with him first place and you cannot just trade 278k$ in cash for bitcoins and expect not to be robbed
there were similar stories the place where I live,involving Localbitcoins traders
the scheme was simple yet very effective: a criminal rents an appartment ground floor with two exits
arranges a meeting with a buyer (cash only of course) then under the pretext of checking the notes,goes to the back room and disappears with the money through the fire exit
the sums were around 12k $ total

unfortunately yes, this news isn't the last one. Robberies like this are often
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April 18, 2018, 06:32:26 PM
 #18

Now, use logic, why would somebody go with more 278 000$ to buy coins in person and not via an exchange.

1) He was hiding his activities, and so breaking the law
2) He was just trying to get a better price...

Now to this better price argument, why would somebody sell you 35 Bitcoins cheaper that the market. Obviously he must avoid banks because he is doing his part of tax evasion or he is just trying to unload some dirty coins.
No way a sane person with nothing to fear would go in a shady bar with 280 000$ on him and buy coins from a stranger.

No matter who is reporting this, it can be BBC CNN or Cartoon Network, when I hear somebody in a country that prohibits via AML purchases over 50 000$ in cash, and has laws on taxing is running around with 280 000$ he has something to hide.

I would do everything to avoid paying tax as well, and I am already doing so with the coins that don't have any centralized exchange or service taint on them. Do you legally break the rules? Yes, but the whole thing is that there is no reason I will ever going to let myself be subject to legal theft from the government side, and in the same way, people conducting these transactions won't do so either. I don't see these people as criminals and neither should others do. If the rules and laws were perfectly fair, these situations wouldn't occur. In your words they are criminals because they don't follow shitty laws of the country they are in. In my words they are doing what they should be allowed to do.
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April 18, 2018, 08:07:03 PM
 #19

In your words they are criminals because they don't follow shitty laws of the country they are in. In my words they are doing what they should be allowed to do.

Well, according to both Wikipedia and the oxford dictionary, that's basically the definition.

You go 90 miles an hour in a residential area where nobody lives, and you get a ticket but I could say, you actually weren't that bad because the area was deserted, yet you are still breaking the rules.
It's not fair but that's it and you did it knowingly.

That's also what it matters here and you have to think with a cool head.

I can go buy a joint (actually can't around here, I doubt there are more than 5 guys who ever smoke marijuana in my city) , I can go back to my house and do it. Yeah, I broke the law, yeah f*** the government.But if I get robbed or the guy sells me fake stuff, do I go and report the crime? Do you expect the government to take action and catch the thief?

Think about it for a second, you're angry at the police for investigating you, for taking your id in the street for searching your house but the moment something happens you expect the police to storm every house in the city to find your money. Hypocrisy much?
He tried to avoid the law, let him go an get his money back without the help of the law.

No, unfortunately, no matter how I look at this I can't extract one milligram of pity from my wretched soul for this guy.


I've said it on this forum alone thousands of times, you don't avoid the law, you try and change it for the better.

Giantreturn18
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April 18, 2018, 09:17:08 PM
 #20

That hurts to lose so much, I hope that doesn't happen to him in the future!!! 
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