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Vietnamese Residents Accused of $1.5 Million Crypto Theft and Kidnapping to Face Justice 

The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City has summoned 16 Vietnamese suspects in a $1.5 million crypto robbery and kidnapping. Surprisingly, two of the accused are former cops.

Vietnam is one of the world’s leaders in Bitcoin adoption. Despite the asset class’s growing popularity, the government has not put a legal structure on it. 

According to a local media outlet, the entire saga began in 2018 when Le Duc Nguyen encouraged Ho Ngoc Tai to sell around 1,000 BTC (worth approximately $4.2 million) to purchase other digital currencies.

Regardless, the investment did not go as expected, leading Tai to feel he was a victim of a cryptocurrency hoax. He couldn’t accept the loss and formed a team in May 2020 to reclaim the assets.

The group, consisting of 16 people (two former police officers), tracked Nguyen’s movements using GPS trackers planted on his vehicle. The group rented a van, purchased realistic weapons, and kidnapped the victim at gunpoint.

The team ordered that Nguyen’s brother transfer the original $1,000 BTC to Tai’s wallet while he was in their custody. The gang, however, recognized that his relative did not have the necessary amount and restored “only” $1.5 million in cryptocurrency. The victim was later abandoned near Thu Duc, about 15 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. 

Tai and his 15 suspected accomplices were recently brought to trial by the Vietnamese city’s law enforcement officials. It’s essential mentioning that the operation’s mastermind initially claimed to be behind the crime. During the investigation, he changed his mind about his confession. The additional defendants, for their part, stated that they believed Tai would ordinarily collect the loan from Nguyen rather than abduct him.

The Asian country frequently tops studies on Bitcoin acceptance. According to Chainalysis, a blockchain service provider, Vietnam will be the world’s top in that industry in September 2022, with a score of 1.000. According to the firm, 21% of residents have used or owned digital currencies at some point.

The “Vietnam Crypto Market Report 2022,” published in March of this year, revealed that the asset class remains extremely popular within the country’s boundaries. According to the study, 17% of Vietnamese (or around 16.6 million people) are HODLers. Almost one-third of those polled have invested in Bitcoin.

According to the survey, Vietnam is second only to Thailand in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding crypto acceptance. 

 

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