Crypto-currency. Image Credit: Agency


A gang of three that conned four businessmen of Dh800,000 in an online Bitcoin scam had their one-year sentences upheld by the Dubai Court of Appeals on Monday.

The three Pakistani defendants were each sentenced to one-year in jail followed by deportation on charges of robbery, illegal confinement and impersonating police.

Courts cleared five other men, including three other Pakistanis, one Bangladeshi and an Indian of the same charges.

Dubai Public Prosecution lost their bid at the Court of Appeal after a plea was submitted by prosecutors calling for a stiffer sentence against the trio and secure a conviction against the five other men.

Eight defendants in total were initially charged with confinement and theft.

Only the Pakistani trio, all aged 38, were convicted of the charges.

The men posted Bitcoins for sale on Facebook and their Chinese victims contacted them to purchase the crypto-currency.

The three Pakistani men met the four Chinese victims at an apartment in Al Rifaa in March 2017, as the victims brought money to buy the Bitcoins.

A group of men entered the apartment posing as police and tied the victims up before escaping with Dh800,000 in cash.

One of the Chinese businessmen, who managed to free himself, caught one of the defendants and restrained him until police arrived.

“They showed us pictures of the Bitcoins and documents of ownership,” said a victim. “We were checking the documents when the fake police officers broke into the apartment. They stole our money, mobile phones and locked us up alongside one of them inside the apartment,” the victim added.

The gang escaped in a car parked near the apartment and Dubai Police tracked them down from the number plate.