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Cryptocurrencies have always had a mixed reputation. On the one hand, they are hailed as the next gen technology to replace the current banking systems of the world; but they have also been widely criticized for the lack of oversight that allows some organizations to rob investors of their money by showing hopes of quick and big returns.
In fact, in 2018 the crypto industry had to suffer a $3 billion loss at the hands of crypto crime. The most recent news of crypto fraud comes from Taiwan where 15 individuals were arrested in Taipei for their part in alleged cryptocurrency scam that robbed investors of $8 million.
Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) made the announcement on Saturday that they had apprehended 15 suspects who are believed to be part of a scam that has defrauded over 30 investors out of more than NT$250 million, which breaks down as approximately $8.15 million US Dollars.
The CIB’s Investigation Corps chief, Li Chi-hsun confirmed the news regarding the arrests at a press conference. Li told the press that the CIB had apprehended 15 individuals in two raids carried out on Jan 9 and Jan 17. Moreover, according to Li, the group’s ringleader had also been among those arrested during the raids.
The group allegedly tricked potential investors into buying their virtual coins IBCoin for NT$50-NT$100 per bit which was way overpriced. They promised investors a big return on investment which never came, using the money to fuel a lavish looking lifestyle, boasting flash luxury cars and big houses. They used this flashy lifestyle to lure in more investors over social media by claiming that their riches came from their profits from investing in IBCoin.
Local authorities claimed that the IBCoin was, in fact, worthless and nothing but a front. During the raids, the CIB has also seized NT$2.02 million in cash and more in the form of items like cars as well as written IBCoin plans and scam plot. The case has been handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office who will set the date for the trial.