In news about an uncovered cryptocurrency scam, the U.K’s Greater Manchester Police on Wednesday disclosed that a USB stick containing $9.5 million worth of ETH has been seized by its Economic Crime Unit from operators of an international scam.
What led to the discovery of the USB stick is the arrest of a 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old female in connection to fraud and money laundering-related offenses.
The announcement in part reads that, “specialist officers received intelligence that those running the scheme had been in Manchester for a limited time and tracked them down, recovering an encrypted USB stick containing $9.5 million of stolen ethereum.”
As said by the police, aside from the $9.5 million of ETH recovered, another $12.7 million were seized a few days later when a “cryptograph safety deposit box” and “the code to access it” were located, bringing the total of seized assets to $22.25 million.
Describing the scam, the police said victims “deposited money, including life savings, into what they thought was an online savings and trading service using Binance Smart Chain, which stores and records transactions made in crypto-currency confirming their movement and value.” After the realization of a significant deposit, the scammers shut their website and transferred the funds to their accounts.
The police are now attempting to contact the victims of this scam who were based in the U.K., U.S., Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong to return their funds.
Police said: “The sum totalled 90% of the cryptocurrency stolen, and work has now begun on re-uniting it with the rightful owners, some of whom are still unknown and located across the world.”
In his comment, Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop urged victims, saying “we urge anyone involved [in] these platforms to use extreme caution, and know that there are still significant vulnerabilities and risks that could put their savings at risk.”
U.K. police have recently been active in going hard on cryptocurrencies related scam and seizure of assets. Recall that in July, the Metropolitan Police seized a whooping $250 million in crypto in a money-laundering investigation.