The UK police enthralled the biggest heist/crypto scam hitherto. They seized $22.25 million from operators of an international cryptocurrency scam. The UK police found a USB stick containing Ethereum worth $9.5 million. The British law enforcement officials are now adamant about returning the stolen funds to their former owners.
UK Police Seize Stolen Crypto Funds in USB Stick
On Wednesday, in August 2021, The U.K.’s Greater Manchester Police that its Economic Crime Unit has got hold of a USB stick containing “huge amounts of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin.” The UK Police have declared that they have seized a total of $22.25 million from international operators of cryptocurrency exchanges scam.
The USB stick was confiscated from two individuals alleged for the charges of fraud and money laundering offenses. The detainee was a 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old female. However, both of them were released due to impending investigations.
The official announcement mentioned, “Specialist officers received intelligence that those running the scheme had been in Manchester for a limited time and tracked them down, recovering an encrypted USB stick containing $9.5 million of stolen Ethereum.”
According to reports from the UK police the “cryptograph safety deposit box” and “the code to access it” were found via investigation a few days later the preparators of the scheme were tracked down. The UK National Economic Crime Unit claims that they confiscated $12.7 million from these. Although the total theft fund added up to $22.25 million. [At the moment Ethereum’s market rates are $3,149.]
The police traced the victims of the fraud to return their funds. According to their reports, the victims of the offense are residing in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong.
When asked, how the victims were trapped in this money laundering scam – it was said that they “deposited money, including life savings, into what they thought was an online saving and trading service using Binance Smart Chain, which stores and records transactions made in crypto-currency confirming their movement and value.”
After a huge amount of funds was deposited the website was closed. The funds were exchanged into cash and deposited into a personal account. The police said, “The sum totaled 90% of the cryptocurrency stolen, and work has now begun on re-uniting it with the rightful owners, some of whom are still unknown and located across the world.”
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop said that they urge anyone utilizing these platforms [international cryptocurrency exchanges] must be extremely cautious, and “know that there are still significant vulnerabilities and risks that could put their savings at risk.”
The UK police have started operating to seize cryptocurrency. Through these regulatory initiatives, a lot of money laundering cases have been brought up in the front line. The details are being announced to the public without any adulteration. This particular case was one of their biggest heist that came under their custody.
If you have noticed Binance blockchain is mentioned here, the interface through which a lot of scam platforms find their way to loot investors off their savings. Although Binance has been completely banned in the UK for regulatory inconveniences, people are still not protected from crypto-frauds.
In the short term of 13 years since the birth of cryptocurrency, digital finance has come a long way where regulators and financial investors have faced a lot of scams and frauds, made mistakes, and learned from them. Hopefully, more innovative ways of responsibly regulating cryptocurrency will emerge which won’t result in banning or complete hamper of digital financial development.