Crypto theft: Man fakes kidnap to steal over $1m in Bitcoin

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Venezuelan man fakes own kidnap to steal clients crypto.
  • Suspects parades himself as financial adviser to access clients’ crypto.
  • Venezuelan criminals target crypto to carry out nefarious activities.

Just as Venezuela is the country with the highest crypto adoption rate, crypto theft, scams, and other illicit acts are also common in the country.

Currently, a 23-year-old Andrés Jesús Dos Santos Hernández has been declared wanted in the American country for crypto theft.

A statement by Douglas Rico, head of Venezuela’s Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas Penales y Criminalísticas (CICPC) indicted the 23-year-old of stealing more than $1 million in Bitcoin from clients whose funds he controlled.

Per the statement, Hernandez touted himself as a financial adviser, allowing him access to some clients’ funds.

Afterward, he allegedly faked his own kidnap to carry out the crypto theft stealing 23.66 Bitcoin. He claimed his abductors forced him to make the withdrawal according to CICPC’s statement.

He is currently in hiding as authorities are in pursuit of him.

Crypto theft prevalent in Venezuela

Interestingly. Hernandez’s kidnap story case is not rare as such situations are common as many criminals look to perpetrate their act with cryptocurrencies in the country.

Weeks back, a Venezuelan businessman named Gustavo Torres Gonzalez was kidnapped and subsequently murdered after failing to pay the 1.5 BTC demanded by his captors.

For a long time, Venezuela has been a hotbed for crypto adoption. This is fueled by hyperinflation the country’s economy faced in the last decade.

The digital asset offers a store of value and access to international markets and a vehicle to convert into United States dollars.

The country has also launched its digital asset, Petro. However, the coin has not achieved widespread adoption like Bitcoin, ETH, and other popular cryptos.

With the high crypto adoption rate in the country and its characteristic which includes privacy, hard to trace, and other features, criminals easily want to use it to carry out their nefarious assignments.

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