Recently the National Police of Ukraine’s (NPU) cyber crime unit exposed one of the biggest international crypto scams which involved five Ukrainian citizens.
The Ukraine-based criminal group was launched in 2020 and trapped individuals by promising them high profits from fake investments in cryptocurrencies and securities. The groups had established their circle across the continent with representative offices and call centers.
It used to set up customer service centers in European countries and had on-board more than 2,000 employees. The employees used to act as brokers and tried convincing people to invest their money in cryptocurrency and trading stocks, bonds, and other relevant options in return for high profits.
As per a press release, the estimated annual losses from the scam crossed over €200 million ($207 million). The operation was a collaborative effort of NPU’s main investigation department, the prosecutor general’s office of the country and Europol, the European Union agency for law enforcement cooperation, and Eurojust, the judicial cooperation body of the EU.
The NPU also stated that the law enforcement agencies from Albania, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, and Spain helped the investigation process against the criminal organization and about seven countries have initiated the judicial proceedings regarding the case.
According to Europol, more than hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have already been affected by the illegal activities of the transnational criminal group. The group faked the asset growth on its various platforms but inventors were unable to retrieve their cash.
They had three offices in Ukraine combined in the cities namely Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk with five employees. The company associates, if proven guilty, would be subject to eight years of prison under Ukrainian law. The operation began around August and the police officers have searched the homes of the suspects residing in Ukraine as well as in other countries more than 500 mobile phones and computers have already been seized.
The scams in crypto and other digital assets have been a challenge to regulators and investors across the globe including Australia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, etc. In fact, as a prevailing trend, scammers have also started exploiting other scammers as reported by Todayq earlier this year.