Fake kidnapping for real Bitcoin
The man in question, Andrés Jesús Dos Santos Hernández, was – officially – a financial advisor on behalf of his clients. As part of his business, he had access to, among other things, Binance accounts, in which Bitcoin was stored. It was these accounts that were recently emptied.
The news was reported in a publication by Venezuela’s Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Corps (CIPC), the equivalent of the FBI. The institution explains that Hernández claimed to have been kidnapped by criminals, who forced him to empty the accounts in question. He reportedly walked away with 23.66 BTC, or more than $1 million in cryptocurrencies.
The man reportedly never actually gave financial advice to his clients, simply hoarding Bitcoin before walking away with the money. Authorities are urging anyone with information on the matter to contact them.
Venezuela, home of cryptocurrencies
In Venezuela, where inflation has reached a catastrophic level, cryptocurrencies are often considered a safe haven. So it makes sense that criminals are also turning to Bitcoin and altcoins.
The government had been trying to encourage the use of its cryptocurrency, Petro (PTR) since last year. But the lack of enthusiasm among locals for the asset then pushed for the creation of state structures to oversee other cryptocurrencies. A national exchange platform was thus created late last year, following a mining pool that was supposed to bring miners back into the state fold.
According to a recent study by Chainalysis, Venezuela is placed seventh in the ranking of countries with the most widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, after Nigeria and before the United States.
Read more on the same topic – Venezuela: the MNBC proposed in October, with a bolivar that loses zeros
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About the author : Marine Debelloir
Deputy Editor-in-Chief on Cryptoast, I fell into the crypto-currency pot a few years ago. I’m passionate about the innovative technologies that stem from blockchain and I love to dig up the most juicy news to share with you.
All articles by Marine Debelloir.