Two individuals have been handed life imprisonment sentences by a Vietnamese court following a violent cryptocurrency theft, as reported on May 16.
Ho Ngoc Tai and Tran Ngoc Hoang have been found guilty of stealing approximately 37 billion Vietnamese đồng (equivalent to $1.5 million) in cryptocurrency. Additionally, fourteen other individuals involved in the crime have received prison sentences ranging from nine to 19 years. Notably, two of the convicted individuals were identified as former police officers.
The incident dates back to 2018 when Tai fell victim to a suggestion made by Le Duc Nguyen, who advised Tai to diversify his investments beyond Bitcoin. Unfortunately, Tai incurred losses from these alternative investments. Feeling deceived, Tai conspired with 15 accomplices to steal cryptocurrency from Nguyen. The plot involved stalking, kidnapping, and threats of HIV infection. The scheme targeted not only Nguyen but also his wife and children, while Nguyen’s brother was also approached but did not surrender any cryptocurrency.
As part of the court’s ruling, the individuals involved in the crime have been ordered to pay 18.8 billion Vietnamese đồng in restitution to the victim. Since cryptocurrency is not recognized as a legal form of payment in Vietnam, the stolen digital assets were reportedly converted to local currency.