Hong Kong Police Arrested 12 Suspects Over a $ 6 Million Crypto Scam
Hong Kong police arrested 12 suspects in recent days involved in a virtual currency scam that defrauded hundreds of victims of 58 million Hong Kong dollars( nearly $6.3 million), and most of the victims are mainlanders, according to Chinese business news site Yicai.
The cryptocurrency project, dubbed “CIACIACOIN”, described itself as a developer-friendly blockchain platform for running multiple decentralized applications simultaneously and as a network that could process millions of transactions per second in a brief post shared across social medial. “CIACIACOIN will reshape the history and create miracles,” its slogan stated.
Cheung Lok-chuen, chief inspector of the Kowloon West regional crime unit, said three investment companies involved in the case lured unsuspecting investors into laying down money on their investment products, including a virtual currency project , and promised high returns on ventures in a short time.
Three investment firms which set up offices in Tsim Sha Tsui district had been in operation since November 2017. Two of them were registered in Hong Kong, but the remaining one was not registered anywhere.
According to victims, sales staff said as long as you invested the project, you could receive cash dividends every 50 days, and get your investment capital back in 3 months. Moreover, investors had a chance to capture a 13-time return on investment in a year. But these investors found themselves cheated 4 months later when they couldn’t get their money back, nor did they receive any “dividends”.
Hong Kong authorities have launched a media campaign to alert public to the potential risks of dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges and investing in initial coin offerings in January. In the same month, Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, Securities and Futures Commission(SFC), has ordered seven Hong Kong-based exchanges to delist tokens derived from ICOs.
SFT has stated in last September that the digital tokens involved in an ICO fall under the definition of “securities”. Parties engaging in a cryptocurrency-related activities are required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC irrespective of whether the parties involved are located in Hong Kong, so long as such business activities target the Hong Kong public.