Chinese authorities have arrested suspects involved in the PlusToken cryptocurrency scam, which reportedly began in 2018 and robbed investors of nearly $6 billion.
Investors bought PLUS tokens using Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). PlusToken promised users that if they stored their funds on its platform, they would be rewarded with 6% to 18% in monthly profits.
After defrauding over 2.4 million investors, the PlusToken scammers withdrew $2.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency and left the message “sorry we have run”.
Citing information from Cailian News Agency, ChainNews reports that the police arrested all 27 principal suspects who fled abroad when the Ponzi scheme was busted. They also apprehended 82 core members of the scheme after the Ministry of Public Security started its investigation.
“The return to the case completely destroyed this large multinational network MLM organization entrenched at home and abroad. This case is the first network MLM case that used Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a transaction medium to be detected by the public security organs.”
Crypto analyst and founding partner of Primitive Ventures, Dovey Wan, tweets that the arrests are a welcome development in the Bitcoin community.
27 core PlusToken team members are all arrested by Chinese police, the biggest crypto scam in the history so far, $3B worth of crypto is scammed
Bulls now have little to no baggage 🧳 and lets send it to the 🌕 pic.twitter.com/SiDJVSqA5J
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) July 30, 2020
According to CipherTrace Labs, total cryptocurrency crime in 2019 surged 160% from 2018. Says CEO David Jevans,
“Our research revealed some surprising trends in 2019 … there was a dramatic shift away from outright thefts and exchange hacks and toward Ponzi schemes, exit scams, and other con games.”
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