The leader of a Chinese Triad gang, who kidnapped and beat a Tether (USDT) trader with hammers, is still on the run from police — and his crew — after pocketing $2.6 million in crypto.
The gang reportedly snatched the 39-year-old Hong Konger on November 6. A ‘buyer’ met online lured the man to an industrial building in Kowloon Bay to ‘buy’ HK$4 million ($513,000) worth of USDT.
When he arrived, the man was forced to give up his mobile phone and crypto exchange passwords. The gang demanded a HK$30 million ($3.8 million) ransom from his family, and smashed his arms and legs with hammers to prevent his escape.
But instead of paying up, the trader’s family contacted the police who eventually traced him to a hut in Tai Po in northern Hong Kong.
According to Hong Kong-based daily The Standard, the victim managed to leap from a window as cops swooped to apprehend seven suspected gang members.
Unfortunately, the scheme’s mastermind slipped the net and went to ground with HK$20 million ($2.6 million) of the victim’s crypto, obtained via the stolen private keys.
The incident was relayed by South China Morning Post earlier this month, but now The Standard cites a source that says the underworld figure is not only wanted by police, but by his own gang, too.
Triads trade crypto to make ends meet
Like with many industries, the Chinese Triads have found themselves strapped for cash as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, Triads are leveraging China’s crypto crackdown to profit by trading on behalf of mainland investors.
In this particular case, the mastermind reportedly worked with a wealthy mainlander who’d previously traded some USDT with the victim.
The gang subsequently discovered he still held considerable amounts of USDT.
So, they hatched a plan to kidnap him.
“He and the victim met a few times, and have successfully traded cryptocurrencies worth more than HK$3 million [$385,000],” a source told The Standard’s sister outlet.
“Maybe someone saw the victim dress nicely, driving a nice automobile, and so the mastermind kidnapped him.”
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