The criminals who kidnapped a 3-year-old child from a shopping center in Hong Kong’s Tseung Kwan O district demanded a ransom of 660,000 USDT from his parents. The boy has already been found and returned home safely.

The criminals told the child’s parents to install the Telegram messenger and buy 660,000 USDT on the over-the-counter (OTC) market. At the same time, they forbade them to contact the police, threatening their son’s safety. However, the boy’s parents contacted the Hong Kong Police Organized Crime Bureau (OCTB), which immediately began an investigation.

On the evening of July 3, after carefully reviewing the CCTV footage from the shopping center and nearby areas, the police tracked down the suspects. On the morning of July 4, the criminals were detained and the child was rescued.

Violent crime in Hong Kong increased by 9.4% in the first five months of 2024, according to local police. The number of incidents rose to 4,237, compared to 3,872 in the same period last year. The surge in violent crime coincides with the increased use of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities, police said.

According to a report by the United Nations (UN), the USDT stablecoin has become the main cryptocurrency for money laundering and organizing fraudulent schemes in Southeast Asia. Tether management criticized the UN experts’ report, clarifying that USDT is used in public blockchains that allow for transparent tracking of each transaction.

Recently, the American research center Consumer’s Research accused Tether of aiding terrorists and human traffickers, as well as circumventing international sanctions.