Cryptocurrency trader escaped from kidnappers demanding HK$30 million ransom
HONG KONG - Seven people were arrested for kidnapping, which saw a cryptocurrency trader held and brutally beaten by triad members demanding a ransom of HK$30 million (S$5 million).
The victim, 39, was lured into a Kowloon Bay industrial unit on Nov 6 to carry out a cryptocurrency transaction, where he was ambushed by a group of men.
According to South China Morning Post, the man was badly beaten up as he refused to call his family to pay the ransom.
The trader reportedly became a target because the triad gang suspected he was well-off, as he had a supercar worth millions of Hong Kong dollars.
Although it was later clarified the victim was neither famous nor rich, he did like to show off his earnings from trading cryptocurrency.
The victim’s family reported the case to police three days after he had been kidnapped.
SCMP reported that just as officers were swooping onto the location where he was hidden, the trader managed to climb out a window and drop to the ground.
Five more arrests were made in suspected connection with the kidnapping, deputy senior superintendent Alan Chung of the Kowloon West regional crime unit said in a press conference.
All of them, aged between 25 and 32, are members of the triad group Sun Yee On. The police are hunting for at least seven or eight more people.
The victim suffered multiple fractures on his arms and legs, and is undergoing surgery for his injuries.
Authorities were investigating whether any money was stolen from the man as he was forced to reveal the passwords for his bank and cryptocurrency accounts, Chung said.
Cryptocurrency scams have been on the rise, with police recording 496 cases in the first half of this year, reported SCMP. This is the first known incident involving a kidnapping.
Under Hong Kong law, anyone found guilty of detaining a person against their will for ransom can face a life sentence upon conviction.