Updated at 14:13,22-06-2018

Belarus police investigate cryptocurrency theft


Belarus police investigate cryptocurrency theft
Image: Reuters
The first ever criminal case on cryptocurrency theft may be opened in Belarus after a Minsk-based bitcoin owner fell victim to a swindler. Brest's Leninski District Deputy Police Commander Dzmitry Karaviakouski told sb.by that the incident with a Minsk entrepreneur happened last August. The Minsker bought a bitcoin in 2011. Back then, it cost $100 (now almost $17000). This year, the entrepreneur decided to sell 0.83 bitcoins. Via Telegram, he made a contact with a buyer who offered to pay $3000.

The men met at a cafe in central Brest. During the meeting, the Minsker wired via an online stock exchange his cryptocurrency to the buyer. The transaction had to be complete within several hours, but the buyer disappeared meanwhile. He did not wire $3000 either.

The police have put wanted notices and disseminated CCTV footage depicting the suspect. However, since this is the first time a criminal case of this kind could be opened, some thourough research was required. Invesigation is hampered by the fact that the seller and the buyer used the anonymous messenger Telegram as well as the anonymous online platforms. The case was eventually opened under the article in the Penal Code that deals with illegal seizure of property or obtaining the right to property through swindling or abuse of trust.