UK Police Seizes $22.25 Mln in Ether & Other Cryptos in a BSC-based Scam
“It's vital that we as a force adapt to what is an emerging type of crime, and demonstrate that there will be repercussions, regardless of the platform this fraudulent activity takes place on,” said Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop of Greater Manchester Police's Economic Crime Unit.
The UK police have seized $22.25 million, just over £16 million, and arrested a 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old female on fraud and money laundering offenses.
The seized millions of pounds in fake savings and trading services are now waiting to be claimed by rightful owners across the world, it said.
Specialist officers made the seizure from Greater Manchester Police's Economic Crime Unit after they discovered USB sticks containing vast amounts of ETH, mentions the police report.
“Our lives are increasingly moving online or onto our phones, and currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are often seen as the future when it comes to money and trading,” said Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop of Greater Manchester Police's Economic Crime Unit.
“It's vital that we as a force adapt to what is an emerging type of crime, and demonstrate that there will be repercussions, regardless of the platform this fraudulent activity takes place on.”
According to the report, victims from the UK, United States, Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong deposited money into the online savings and trading service that used Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
The scammers transferred the funds into their accounts and shut down their website but couldn't do so without a trace. Specialist officers tracked them down in Manchester and recovered an encrypted USB stick containing $9.5 million of stolen Ethereum, reads the report. Another $12.7 million were further found in a Cryptograph safety deposit box.
The police have recovered 90% of the stolen cryptocurrency and are now contacting their rightful owners worldwide, still unknown.
One of the victims, who works in the crypto industry and lost hundreds of thousands of digital assets, told the police,
“I'm an experienced blockchain professional, I'd done all the research with friends who work in programming development to make sure it was safe. The hack really surprised us at first.”
Greater Manchester Police said they had increased its economic and cybercrime funding to tackle the growing online fraud cases. Their Asset Detention and Recovery Unit has received over £1.5 million of funding for extra staff.