Bulgarian authorities have raided the offices of OneCoin in Sofia in what could possibly be a telling blow against a long-running scam, according to bitcoin.com.
OneCoin is nominally a cryptocurrency company. It has attracted a lot of investors worldwide because of its promises of high returns. However, the blockchain is entirely fictitious – CoinTelegraph announced the listing of OneCoin on coinmarketcap.com on the first of April last year, just to give you an idea of how well-regarded OneCoin is in the cryptocurrency world.
In the interests of fair and balanced reporting, please see this clip in which OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova conducts an interview with an auditor in order to persuade viewers that her coin is not a scam.
Bulgarian national Ignatova also has German citizenship – OneCoin is banned in Germany, and this weekend’s raid was carried out at the request of that country.
The operation was carried out by Bulgarian prosecutors, national security agents and an organised crime unit. Evidence was confiscated and around 50 people taken in for questioning, but no arrests have been made.
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The company remains operational because it is registered in the UAE and operates internationally.
The Bulgarian prosecutor’s office said last week: “At present, companies associated with OneCoin Ltd. are being investigated in England, Ireland, Italy, the United States, Canada, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and many other countries.”
Indeed, watchdogs worldwide have been taking notice of OneCoin since 2015.
In July of that year, the FSMA of Belgium published a notice to the effect that OnceCoin is not regulated in the country, in response to ex-politician Laurent Louis who claimed on his Facebook page “pour la FSMA, le OneCoin ne pose aucun problème et n’est nullement illégal ni une arnaque” (“for the FSMA, the OneCoin is no problem and is not illegal or a scam”). Louis was a member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives from 2010 to 2014, and banned from public office for six years in 2015 following allegations of slander. He began promoting OneCoin in 2016 and is estimated to have made between 100-200,000 euros from the scam. He was arrested and charged with pyramid selling, fraud, money laundering and violation of common and banking laws.
The FCA of the UK warned against the company after a report in the Daily Mirror told of a marketing event held in London, at which OneCoin promoters claimed to have created 300 millionaires in a year.
In July of 2017, Ignatova was arrested in India along with another 30 individuals, charged with running a scam involving thousands of investors. Indian police noted that OneCoin money was stored in 35 different bank accounts, and the majority of it was transferred to an unknown location shortly after the arrests were made.