The four suspects between ages 20 and 26 allegedly used their specialized knowledge and skills in programming to operate the fraudulent exchanges, setting up their own content management systems to manage the website content.
According to the National Police of Ukraine (NPU), the four used forged identification documents to create an account, which they would immediately close after a victim transferred money to the account. All the six cryptocurrency exchanges have been closed with only one redirecting visitors to a pornography site. It is yet unclear how much the four individuals collected from unsuspecting victims.
Police seized computers, flash drives, bank cards and mobile phones from the suspects’ addresses, investigators said. Out of the four suspects, three, aged between 20 and 26 years, have been implicated directly in the six established fraud cases. The four will be charged under Section 3 of Article 190 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.
The six websites were identified as moneycraft.info, swapex.net, wowex.online, myexchnager.iv, iconvex.net, and likechange.biz, according to Financial Club. Police believe there are more fake websites operating in Ukraine. Police have asked the public to be careful while making their crypto exchange on any platform especially new ones. The public can also report suspicious crypto exchanges platforms to [email protected]
The victims were invited to transfer their money to digital wallets registered with forged identification documents under false names of foreign citizens. After receiving some funds through a particular platform, the scammers would close it and open a new one, law enforcement officials explained.
Experts believe that these laws must be implemented to foster cryptocurrency trading. Despite lack of regulation, cryptocurrency trade in the country has greatly grown over the last three years. Top exchanges like Kuna, Exmo and BTC Trade UA have trading volumes of $ 1.9 million – $2 million per year.