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Friday, October 20, 2017

Kidnapped for Bitcoin!

Thrown into the back of an SUV and taken to an abandon flat, to be robbed blind.  That's the situation a businessman in Delhi recently found himself in - and it's was all over bitcoin.  So how did he end up here?

It's a site called localbitcoin, think craigslist for bitcoin.  Where people who miss the personal touch from anonymous exchanges can directly talk with and negotiate cryptocurrency trades with people using their real names, in their local area.

You can choose to exchange cash for crypto using your standard online payment methods, or, meet up in person, skip the fees, and maybe build a relationship with a new trading buddy in your home town. 

That's exactly how it went down. The businessman (who is requesting to remain unnamed) was contacted through the website.  Initially by a woman who said she had a client interested in his bitcoin.

He agreed to the sell, but when he asked to be paid via paypal before transferring the bitcoin - she made a better offer.  Meet her client in person and he'll pay extra for him accepting cash.

He took the offer, and arranged to meet her at a local metro station.

There, he found what appeared to be the beginnings of a legitimate deal. A lone woman was waiting for him, he approached and introduced himself.

That's when she began looking around, making sure he was alone - and signaled her gang waiting in the shadows. 

Thrown into an SUV and taken to an empty building in Vaishali, the businessman found himself surrounded by a gang of 6 thieves, forced him to empty his wallet, and fled.

Knowing the criminals who robbed him knew his identity, it took several days for the scared victim to come forward. Thankfully, he did.

If this sounds like an elaborate well thought-out heist, you'll be surprised to hear how easy it was to track down the criminals. 

They used their personal cell phones to arrange the meetup.

A simple look at the victims call logs lead directly to the kingpin - a former real estate broker who had recently gone bankrupt, by the name of Amandeep Singh.

Amandeep then lead authorities to 5 accomplices - all 6 now await trial, charged with robbery and kidnapping.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk