According to recent reports, three individuals have been handed jail terms for their involvement in a Bitcoin (BTC) theft case in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.
Pham Van Thuan, Nguyen Thai Son, and Nguyen Cong Dung were convicted of stealing seven Bitcoin, valued at VND7 billion (approximately $287,500), from a man named Trieu.
From Borrowed Bag To Stolen Bitcoin
Pham Van Thuan and Nguyen Thai Son established a friendship with Trieu in 2018. In April of the following year, Thuan, facing financial difficulties, sought temporary accommodation at Trieu’s place in District 6 of HCMC.
During his stay, Thuan borrowed a laptop bag from Trieu and stumbled upon a note containing a Trust Wallet recovery phrase. This discovery granted Thuan unauthorized access to Trieu’s account, revealing that he possessed seven Bitcoin, equivalent to VND7 billion.
According to the investigations, Thuan returned the borrowed bag but decided to steal the seven BTC by logging into Trieu’s wallet and transferring the entire amount to his account.
Shortly after the theft, Thuan vacated Trieu’s residence, leaving no trace of his actions. Suspecting foul play, Trieu attempted to contact Thuan but received no response. Consequently, Trieu reported the theft to the police.
Nguyen Thai Son intervened in the situation, helping Thuan evade capture by arranging a hotel room for him. Son then reached out to his friend, Nguyen Cong Dung, in Hanoi, requesting his assistance in resolving the matter.
The trio agreed that Thuan would share 4.3 Bitcoin with Son and Dung. Son converted 1.8 Bitcoin into Tether’s USDT and sold it for over VND775 million. Nevertheless, Son and Dung squandered the proceeds, partly reinvesting in cryptocurrency, resulting in financial losses.
Crypto Heist Ends In Convictions
Following their plan, Thuan fled to Son’s hometown in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. However, on May 21, during negotiations with Trieu over the stolen BTC, Thuan was apprehended by law enforcement authorities.
As Vietnamese laws do not recognize Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as legal tender, the defendants were held accountable for the converted amount in Vietnamese currency.
The HCMC court delivered its verdict, sentencing Pham Van Thuan to 13 years in prison for “using computer networks, telecommunications networks, and electronic means to commit acts of property appropriation.”
Nguyen Thai Son received a sentence of eight years and six months for “consuming property obtained by someone else’s crime,” while Nguyen Cong Dung was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
As of the current update, BTC remains range-bound, fluctuating within the price range of $36,900 to $37,400. Over the past 24 hours, the cryptocurrency has experienced minimal price volatility. However, it has recorded gains of nearly 3% over the seven few days.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com