Chinese police have arrested as many as 27 major suspects related to Plus Token, one of the major cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes involving billions of dollars.
As reported by multiple Chinese media, the arrests were made by the country’s Ministry of Public Security. Additionally, another 82 core members of the Ponzi scheme were also arrested by the top police force.
27 core PlusToken team members are all arrested by Chinese police, the biggest crypto scam in the history so far, $3B worth of crypto is scammed
Bulls now have little to no baggage 🧳 and lets send it to the 🌕 pic.twitter.com/SiDJVSqA5J
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) July 30, 2020
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A billion-dollar crypto Ponzi scheme
Plus Token had swindled an estimated amount of 40 billion Chinese yuan (around $5.7 billion) from the investors, a local report highlighted.
Though initially, the Ponzi scheme was expected to have defrauded around $2.9 billion, many analysts pointed out that the amount to be too small.
With over 2 million investors fell for the fraudulent crypto scheme, Plus Token is said to have over 3,000 layers since last year. A majority of these victims are concentrated in China and South Korea. However, the scheme still has a major impact on a global scale.
Though the recent arrests were seen as a major achievement by the Chinese police, the details are not public yet, and it is not clear where the authorities nabbed the perpetrators. The 109 perpetrators had also reportedly fled the country earlier.
In August 2019, Chinese law enforcement arrested six people related to the Plus Token Ponzi scheme but revealed that the primary suspects were still at large. Then, the affiliates were deported to China from Vanuatu, one of the alleged operational hubs of the scheme.
Many blockchain analyzers are actively tracking the proceeds from the scheme kept as crypto holdings. In March, Ergo, one of such companies, revealed that 13,000 Bitcoins, then valued around $10.2 million, kept in wallets associated with Plus Token were sent to a crypto mixer to erase the transactional history associated with them.