Two Bitcoin traders became the victims of the UK’s first Bitcoin robbery after they were held at gunpoint by masked men and forced to transfer an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency to the criminals’ accounts. The incident occurred in Jan. 22, in the village of Moulsford in Oxfordshire, where cryptocurrency trader Danny Aston and his girlfriend, Amy Jay, lived with their infant.
According to a report in The Mail on Sunday, four men wearing balaclavas kicked down the couple’s door and took the couple’s baby outside while they forced Aston and Jay to transfer their cryptocurrency holdings. Aston, 30, had reportedly executed more than 100,000 trades under the pseudonym “Goldiath,” and he and Jay, 31, jointly owned Aston Digital Currencies, a company they operated out of their home.
“No one was seriously injured during the incident,” the publication cites a Thames Valley Police spokesman as saying.
As of the time of writing, no arrests had been made, but police believe the couple was deliberately targeted. The report noted that, in Britain, crimes involving firearms are rare outside of the London metropolitan area and are often associated with organized crime.
A neighbour, speaking to the Sun newspaper yesterday, said the young couple had gone into hiding at a secret address after the terrifying raid:
“I was not here at the time but I know the couple have left and are staying with relatives, they haven’t been back since. We are all obviously a bit shaken up, even though a few days have passed now. It is not what you expect to happen around here.”
The robbery is the latest in a disturbing trend of assaults targeting individuals associated with the cryptocurrency industry.
New York resident Louis Meza allegedly kidnapped a cryptocurrency investor and stole $1.8 million worth of ether in December. Later that month, an executive at cryptocurrency exchange EXMO was kidnapped in Ukraine and was ultimately released after he paid a $1 million ransom. Last week, three armed robbers entered Ottawa-based cryptocurrency exchange Canadian Bitcoins and attempted to force the employees to transfer funds to them. In this case, an employee in another part of the building was able to phone the police, who arrived before the suspects could complete the robbery.