Prosecutor Accuse Suspect of Extortion for 200-Bitcoin Blackmail
A criminal suspect was convicted on a charge for attempting to blackmail 200 bitcoins from a man who featured in indecent videos, according to legaldaily.com.
The well-educated suspect surnamed Zhuang who is a postgraduate from Tsinghua University and works in a well-known real estate company believes that he could get away with bitcoin, as it is illegal virtual commodity in China.
However, cryptocurrency is deemed as property by local prosecutors who explained that bitcoin can still be traded over the counter via international networks despite China’s ban; though bitcoin is a specific virtual commodity, it is an actual property belonging to its holders and has its practical value.
In September 2017, Zhuang borrowed a hard disk from his colleague surnamed Zhang for work needs, in which he accidentally found a hidden folder storing some indecent private photos and sex videos of a man who is the ex-colleague of Zhang.
According to the report, before Zhang joined Zhuang’s company, the hard disk was co-used by Zhang and some of his colleagues including the victim surnamed Wang, but he has been unaware of the hidden folder and brought the hard disk to the current company.
After some investigation, Zhuang learnt Wang is quite well off and thus greed came to his mind – he decided to blackmail Wang for his indecent images and asked for 200 bitcoins (roughly $1.2 million), as he smugly thought bitcoin blackmail could avoid police investigation for bitcoin transaction is anonymous and banned in China.
The victim at first agreed to pay 120 bitcoins after negotiation, in fear that he might be blackmailed again and again, he later reported the case to the police.
After investigation, local prosecutors accused the suspect of attempted extortion.