Taiwanese police arrested four men charged with stealing Bitcoins worth $170,000 or 5 million Taiwanese dollars, in what is described as the first robbery involving the cryptocurrency in the country.
The incident happened in a residential area in the central city of Taichung on February 10, when two men were lured by four men in their early twenties, pretending to be interested in buying bitcoins, local media reported.
The two men showed the images of bitcoins on the phone.
Robbers assaulted the duo asking them to transfer 18 bitcoins worth 5 million Taiwanese dollars to their account.
Victims were forced to drink the strong liquor Kaoliang to give the impression to the police that it was only a drunken dispute between the men.
Police made arrested the four men on different dates and at different locations.
Physical violence in robberies involving cryptocurrencies are being reported across the world after the prices of these currencies surged, making them attractive for thieves.
In January, a Russian couple was held up by assailants at their apartment in the beach resort of Phuket, Thailand. They were detained for six hours until they transferred nearly $100,000 worth of Bitcoin into the criminals’ online wallet.
Thai police said the assailants apparently were a gang of Russian criminals and the stolen mobile phone was tracked to Malaysia after which the trail went cold.
Similar incidents involving people being held hostage until they provide Bitcoin or other digital currency, have been reported in the UK and Ukraine.