Four arrested over Taiwan’s first bitcoin robbery

Bitcoin is a virtual currency created from computer code that allows anonymous transactions and its value has soared since it came into being in 2009. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2018
0

Four arrested over Taiwan’s first bitcoin robbery

TAIWAN: Taiwan police have arrested four men over a bitcoin robbery worth 5 million Taiwanese dollars in what they said was the first case of its kind on the island.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency created from computer code that allows anonymous transactions and its value has soared since it came into being in 2009.
Taiwan police said three men in their early twenties lured a man surnamed Tai to the central city of Taichung, pretending to be interested in buying bitcoins.
After Tai showed proof of his bitcoins on his phone, the scammers assaulted him and his friend, then transferred 18 bitcoins worth 5 million Taiwanese dollars from Tai’s account via his phone.
The suspects attempted to pass off the heist as a drunken row by forcing the victim to drink Kaoliang, a strong Taiwanese liquor, Taichung city police said in a statement.
Police arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a dispute and one man was detained. The other two had fled.
“The police saw bloodstains at the scene ... after further investigation, it was discovered to be a bitcoin virtual currency robbery,” the statement released Wednesday said.
It described the case, which happened earlier this month, as “the first domestic case of bitcoin robbery.”
The two other suspects were later arrested, one on the outlying island of Kinmen where he had gone to escape police.
The fourth man, surnamed Shih, believed to be the mastermind behind the robbery, was also detained.
Britain saw its first Bitcoin armed robbery last month, according to reports, in which a virtual currency trader and his wife were threatened with a gun.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are independent of governments and banks and use blockchain technology, where encrypted digital coins are created by supercomputers.
But calls are mounting for virtual currencies to be regulated, and prices have fluctuated in recent months amid concerns over tightened control.


Abused Hong Kong maid Erwiana ‘disappointed’ after employer’s early prison release

Updated 22 November 2018
0

Abused Hong Kong maid Erwiana ‘disappointed’ after employer’s early prison release

  • Erwiana Sulistyaningsih became the face of abused maids in Hong Kong
  • Employer Law Wan-tung was sentenced to six years in prison in 2015 for grievous bodily harm, assault, criminal intimidation and failure to pay wages

HONG KONG: A former Indonesian domestic worker in a high-profile abuse case said Thursday she was “sad and disappointed” after her employer, who was jailed for starving and beating her, walked free before finishing her sentence.
Erwiana Sulistyaningsih became the face of abused maids in Hong Kong, after pictures showed how she was imprisoned, starved and violently beaten by her former employer.
Law Wan-tung was sentenced to six years in prison in 2015 for grievous bodily harm, assault, criminal intimidation and failure to pay wages, and was ordered by a court last year to pay more than $100,000 in damages.
But Law secured an early release from prison a few months ago, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday, citing a lawyer from the city’s justice department.
Erwiana expressed her disappointment Thursday and said the six-year sentence was not enough “for the terrible crimes that she committed against me and the other victims.”
“I feel very sad and disappointed when I learned that my former employer Law Wan-tung was released from jail earlier than the actual imprisonment that she had to serve,” she said.
“She... tortured me, held me captive, denied me rest and refused to pay me any wages,” Erwiana told reporters.
“It is my hope that Law Wan-tung can admit to her wrongdoings, apologize to the victims and resolve to never do the same thing to anyone ever again,” she added.
Tutik Lestari Ningsih — another former maid from Indonesia of Law — said the news made her feel “very unsafe” because Law had previously threatened to kill her.
The Correctional Services Department said in a statement said that due to privacy regulations they would not disclose specific details.
Prison inmates can receive a one-third sentence reduction on good behavior, although Law had not yet served adequate time of her sentence for this to apply.
More than 340,000 domestic helpers work in Hong Kong — mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia — often performing menial tasks for low wages while living in poor conditions.