Police in Dubai have reportedly arrested a man accused stealing bitcoins from several individuals.
Local sources report that three Dubai citizens were defrauded after connecting online with someone claiming to be a bitcoin buyer who wanted to purchase the digital currency at a premium.
According to Dubai police officials, those affected apparently let the suspect access their bitcoin wallets during the sale. Once inside, those accounts were emptied, with just over $100,000 in bitcoin being taken.
Dubai officials are said to have expressed concern about the nature of the crime. Salim bin Salmin, deputy director of the Dubai Police’s Cybercrimes Department, told regional news service 7DaysUAE.
“It’s hard to trace the money. There is no legal framework for it and UAE residents are not familiar with it or how to use it for trading.”
The suspect, who is facing fraud charges following his arrest, was reportedly arrested after police used Instagram to set up a sting operation. Officials used the social media app to create the persona of a wealthy investor looking to buy bitcoins.
”We created an account for a young man, posted pictures of him looking wealthy and put up a message that he was looking to sell 1,000 bitcoins,” Dubai Police director Khamis Mattar Al Muzaina told the publication.
After the suspect was arrested, police determined that the funds had been spent on a variety of luxury goods as well as housing costs in Dubai.
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