Police have arrested fifteen suspects in New Taipei, Taiwan, on the grounds of allegedly operating a cryptocurrency scam, duping investors of millions of dollars, reported local media outlet Focus Taiwan on Jan.26.
The article states the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief, Li Chi-hsun, said at a press conference that the police nabbed the fifteen suspects, including their alleged leader surnamed Lin, in two separate raids, on Jan.9 and Jan.17.
In reports emerging from the CIB, the gang actively promoted IBCoin, an alternative to Bitcoin, which is banned in Taiwan. Focus Taiwan reports that these fraudsters would indulge in fake publicity of their scheme on platforms such as Facebook, trying to lure in new victims.
The article also states that Lin reportedly bought IBCoin from his Chinese connections at a price of NT$1.5 (nearly equal to $0.05) per unit in 2017. Then, with the help of his operators, Lin sold his tokens at rates as high as NT$50-NT$100 (($1.63-$3.27) per unit), promising extremely high returns.
CIB says that as of date, no victim saw any gains on their investment whatsoever, stating that “there are currently no known companies that trade or deal in IBCoins,” pegging its real value at nought.
The fraudsters have been reportedly charged with fraud, with the case being given over to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office. The group is said to have amassed nearly NT$250 million (US$8.13 million) in gains by scamming over 30 people in Taiwan, claims CIB.
The authorities are also said to have seized NT$2.02 million in cash, in addition to three automobiles and written guidelines on fraud procedures, during raids.
A victim is said to have supposedly brought to the attention of law enforcement authorities the scam in September 2018. He reported that the alleged suspects/group had tricked him into buying IBCoins worth NT$600,000.
The rise of fraudulent groups has been on the rise in the recent past, especially in 2019, when a number of such scenarios have already been played out.
Recently, an Indian group of scammers is said to have been arrested by the police for allegedly organizing a scam that bought in a reported 5 billion rupees ($70.5 billion).