The Criminal Investigation Department at Sharjah Police arrested a Pakistani national believed to be behind a $545,000 (AED2m) scam to sell Bitcoins to a man he met in a mall.
The money has reportedly now been recovered and is in the process of being returned to the victim.
According to UAE police, the victim had experience of buying Bitcoin on online trading platforms and found a profile of man offering large quantities of Bitcoin during a search for similar investment opportunities.
The accused acted as the go-between and met at Sharjah Mall to complete the transaction – with the victim paying in cash.
Having apparently transferred the agreed quantity of Bitcoin via a laptop, the accused received a call and claimed he needed to step out for a moment to help his wife in the carpark. He failed to return and the Bitcoin never materialized in the victim’s account, and all attempts to reach the accused’s mobile failed, reported Arabian Business.
The police identified the suspect and arrested him at his home. They also found most of the money in his possession as well as receipts for transactions to the man whose online profile the victim contacted.
Bitcoin (BTC) has risen ~50% over the past week following a ~60% drop throughout early January and February. The leading cryptocurrency now has a market cap of ~US$150 billion, with over US$3.5 billion traded over the past 24 hours.