Detectives in the United Kingdom have reportedly seized a USB stick with $9.5 million in Ethereum (ETH) that was believed to be stolen through an alleged crypto scam.
In a statement, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP say that their specialist officers from the Economic Crime Unit retrieved the USB stick after tracking down two alleged operators of a fake savings and trading service.
The scheme reportedly targeted victims in the UK, US, Europe, China, Australia and Hong Kong who deposited their money and life savings into the alleged fake service using smart contract platform Binance Smart Chain.
The operators allegedly shut down their website after receiving significant amounts of money from the victims and then transferred the funds to their accounts.
Intelligence reports led to the arrest of the alleged perpetrators, who have since been released under investigation.
The police seized a sum of $22.25 million following the discovery of multiple USB sticks. A few days later, police found an additional $12.7 million after locating a “cryptograph safety deposit box” and the code to access it, according to the GMP.
The sum equates to 90% of the stolen crypto.
According to the GMP, they are now working to return the stolen funds to the victims of the crypto scam. Some of the victims are still unknown.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop of GMP’s Economic Crime Unit commented on the need for police to adapt to new crypto-based crimes.
“Currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are often seen as the future when it comes to money and trading. With that comes a new type of crime, and we’re seeing a rise in opportunist criminals looking to exploit these trends as well as any gaps in the technology that can be manipulated. It’s vital that we, as a force, adapt to what is an emerging type of crime, and demonstrate that there will be repercussions, regardless of the platform this fraudulent activity takes place on.”
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