Singapore: Malaysian man charged for robbing S$365,000 during fake bitcoin transaction

bitcoin mixing scam
Fake bitcoin transaction in Singapore (Representational picture) Benoit Tessier/Illustration/Reuters

A 36-year-old Malaysian man, the prime suspect of a looting case that involved two men and a total cash of S$365,000, was charged with robbery on Tuesday, April 12.

The accused, Mohd Abdul Rahman Mohamad allegedly robbed another Malaysian, Pang Joon Hau, who came to Singapore to buy bitcoins along with his broker. The accused punched in his face at Hotel 81 along Middle Road on Apr 8. Another Singaporean, Syed Mokhtar Syed Yusope helped Abdul Rahman and was charged on April 11 for same allegations.

Reports said that both the victims of this incident wanted to buy the cryptocurrency. When Syed Mokhtar met the victims, he pretended to be a bitcoin seller and Abdul Rahman introduced himself as a part-time broker. Once the interaction was over, both the accused hit the other two men and ran away with huge cash in hand.

During the investigation, officials came to know that Abdul Rahman gave S$10,000 to the accomplice, Syed Mokhtar. Later, Abdul Rahman spent S$80,000 on branded goods. He also stayed in several luxury hotels after the robbery, said the police.

Abdul Rahman's ex-wife, 33-year-old Yogeshwry Raman, was also called during the hearing and she was charged with dishonestly receiving stolen property worth $50,300, it included a Rolex watch that was valued at $45,800.

Reports also stated that almost S$271,000 out of S$365,000 in cash remains unaccounted for.

Later officers arrested Syed Mokhtar on Monday at the Woodlands Checkpoint, and the other suspect of the case Abdul Rahman was arrested the following day at Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa.

The local police held a press conference on Thursday, where the Commander of Central Police Division and the Assistant Commissioner of Police Arthur Law said that this robbery case is unusual because the victim had carried a huge amount of cash with him. Usually, when people transact in bitcoin or any other transaction, they do not carry full cash, as there is a high risk of being robbed.

In addition to it, another police spokesman said that officers are investigating the origin of Pang's money.

Apart from the robbery with hurt, the Abdul Rahman was also charged with housebreaking and theft by night. He was accused of stealing cash and other items worth a total of S$150,000 from a landed property.

Reports stated that in 2016 Abdul Rahman has committed other offences, including cheating and when he failed to attend the court hearing on April 5, an arrest warrant was issued against him.

Under Section 394, a convict of robbery with hurt has to face imprisonment of a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years and minimum 12 strokes of the cane.

Section 457 says whoever commits house-trespass or housebreaking in the night, in order to commit any offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offence intended to be committed is theft, the term of the imprisonment shall be not less than 2 years and not more than 14 years.

The law says that any convicted person of an offence under section 454, 455, 457 or 458, shall be punished with caning in addition to the punishment prescribed for that offence. The punishment for theft can include imprisonment which may extend to 3 years, a fine, or both.

This article was first published on April 12, 2018