Six months after GMP detectives discovered an international crypto-currency scam, over four million pounds had been refunded to its rightful owners. However, millions more are still owed.
More than $16 million worth of Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, was confiscated by officers from Greater Manchester’s Economic Crime Unit in July 2021, following the discovery of USB drives holding considerable amounts of Ethereum.
Over 150 people from all over the world contacted the unit after the scam bust, which saw millions of pounds deposited in a fraudulent savings and trading business, to seek assistance.
There have already been over four million pounds returned to 23 verified victims, and officers and partners in international law enforcement around the world are currently investigating another 127 reported claims, so there is still another seven million pounds that can be returned to its rightful owners.
Before they shut down their website and transferred the money into their own accounts, the scammers running the service waited until a large sum had been placed. For them, the scammers were not able to flee without a trace.
An encrypted USB drive carrying $9.5 million worth of stolen Ethereum was recovered by specialized police after they obtained information that the perpetrators of the scheme had been in Manchester for a short period of time. Until further notice, they’ve been released on a bond pending investigation.
After identifying a Cryptograph safe deposit box, which is essentially an online safe, and the code to open it, they discovered a further $12.7 million a few days later.