A Malaysian court has fined a local actor $4,000 or 26 months in jail for stealing $50,000 worth of Cryptocurrency. The digital assets belonged to his producer.
As per a local media report, actor Mas Khan was charged on two counts. He is accused of gaining access to his producer Datuk A. Aida’s private keys. After that, he plundered his wallet on two occasions on the same day. Khan pilfered $14,000 before emptying the wallet of the remaining $36,000 worth of an unspecified crypto-asset. The actor committed the crime on March 7, 2019, in an upmarket suburb of Taman Ukay Perdana near Kuala Lumpur.
Called For a More Deterrent Sentence
Mas Khan, whose real name is Mas Hidzhir Khan bin Mas Fadzillah Khan, pleaded guilty to the two charges after initial resistance. The magistrate ordered him to pay a fine of $1,600 for the first charge or face one year in jail during the sentencing. The second charge attracted a fine of $2,300 or 14 months imprisonment.
The accused was charged under Section 379 of the Penal Code. It provides a maximum jail term of seven years or a fine or both. Magistrate Farah Nasihah sentenced Khan after changing his plea to guilty during the third meeting of the case. He requested a minimum fine because he was the sole family breadwinner. He said he cooperated with the authorities since the beginning of the investigation.
However, the Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Intan Syakieraah Zakaria called for a deterrent sentence. He said the case was serious owing to the amount of losses the victim suffered.
Rules for Inclusion in Cryptos as Security
Last week a Russian criminal court rejected a motion to provide restitution to a victim of cryptocurrency theft. The judge argued that Bitcoin doesn’t enjoy the same proprietary protection as other assets. The case dates back to 2018 when two people impersonating Federal Security Service (FSB) agents kidnapped the victim. They forcefully took his 5 million rubles or $90,000 in cash and 99.7 BTC worth about $900,000. The court convicted the kidnappers and jailed them foe between eight- and ten-year prison sentences.
During the criminal proceedings the victim asked the court to force the thieves to repay the funds they stole from him. The court ruled the thieves must return the 5 million rubles but refused to satisfy the claim on virtual currencies. The Russian law doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender. Most governments haven’t introduced the rules for inclusion in cryptos as a security.
A Good Store of Value
The Malaysian case is a step forward in the right direction. The country’s Shariah Council has recently said Bitcoin trading is legal in the country. Cryptocurrency trade is booming in the country amid the extended lockdown. This has cost the economy an estimated $550 million daily. Regulated cryptocurrency exchanges are reporting substantial growth in trading volumes and new users. People are seeking “a good store of value in difficult economic times.