KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman managed to trace a ransom paid in cryptocurrency for a Malaysian man who was kidnapped in Manila, Philippines.
The trace, which was made possible by the Commercial Crime Investigation Department's (CCID) own cryptocurrency lab, led to the identification of six foreign suspects involved in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of the victim.
Bukit Aman CCID director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said on Oct 24, the Malaysian consulate in Manila received a report from a Malaysian man saying his young brother, who was working in the city, was kidnapped on Oct 23.
"The kidnappers demanded a RM330,000 ransom, which was then paid via cryptocurrency.
"However, the victim was later found dead at San Simon, Pampanga," he told a press conference on Monday (Dec 11).
On Nov 9, the consulate's attache requested CCID to analyse the transaction flow into a crypto wallet belonging to one of the suspects, he said.
"Our analysis revealed that the cryptocurrency was transferred to an exchange not registered in Malaysia.
"Information from the exchange revealed the identity of six foreign suspects. We believe it will assist the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of the Malaysian man.
"We already passed all the information to the police attaché at the Malaysian consulate," he said.
Comm Ramli said the CCID has its own Cryptocurrency Crime Investigation Unit, formed in 2018.
"In 2021, the unit received equipment to establish a lab designated to analyse cryptocurrency transactions.
"The lab was officially opened on May 31 last year, the first of such lab in Southeast Asia.
"Since its operation, the lab has analysed 532 e-wallets involving more than RM1bil in funds.