“It’s critical that we as a force adapt to what is an emerging type of crime and demonstrate that there will be consequences, regardless of the platform on which this fraudulent activity occurs,” said Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop of Greater Manchester Police’s Economic Crime Unit.
Police in the United Kingdom seized $22.25 million, or slightly more than £16 million, and arrested a 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old female on fraud and money laundering charges.
Millions of pounds in seized fake savings and trading services are now waiting to be claimed by rightful owners all over the world, according to the statement.
According to the police report, the seizure was made by officers from Greater Manchester Police’s Economic Crime Unit after they discovered USB sticks containing large amounts of ETH.
“Our lives are increasingly moving online or onto our phones, and currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are frequently seen as the future of money and trading,” said Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop of Greater Manchester Police’s Economic Crime Unit.
“It is critical that we as a force adapt to what is an emerging type of crime and demonstrate that there will be consequences, regardless of the platform on which this fraudulent activity occurs.”
According to the report, victims from the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong deposited funds in the online savings and trading service that used the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
The scammers transferred the funds into their accounts and attempted to close down their website, but they were unable to do so without leaving a trace. According to the report, specialist officers tracked them down in Manchester and recovered an encrypted USB stick containing $9.5 million in stolen Ethereum. Another $12.7 million was discovered in a Cryptograph safe deposit box.
The police have recovered 90% of the stolen cryptocurrency and are now contacting their rightful owners all over the world, who are still unknown.
One of the victims, who works in the cryptocurrency industry and has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in digital assets, told police,
“I’m an experienced blockchain professional, and I’d done all of the research with friends who work in programming development to ensure it was secure. We were taken aback at first by the hack.”
Greater Manchester Police announced an increase in economic and cybercrime funding to combat the growing number of online fraud cases. Their Asset Detention and Recovery Unit has received more than £1.5 million in funding for additional personnel.