Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) has announced to have apprehended 15 suspects in Taipei for their part in an $8 million worth Taiwan cryptocurrency scam. This scam revolves around IBCoin, an Ethereum (ETH) ERC20 token which was claimed to be a means of payment in the adult industry. This IBCoin was an attractive method to part investors from their cash in Taiwan. The suspects were arrested in two separate raids on January 9 and January 17. In these raids, the police seized automobiles, money, and detailed instructions on how to carry out the fraud.
The alleged $8 million Taiwan cryptocurrency scam has caught limelight as one of the largest scams in Asia in the crypto industry so far this year. It is be believed that the apprehended 15 suspects are all a part of a major scam that has defrauded over 30 investors out of more than NT$250 million, which amount to over $8 million US dollars.
A press conference was held by the CIB’s Investigation Corps chief, Li Chi-hsun, to reveal the details of the raids conducted. In this conference, Li confirmed the detention of 15 suspects during the two raids conducted on January 9 and January 17. He also added that the group’s supposed ringleader, named only at this time as Lin, has been arrested.
How was the raid conducted?
CIB’s Investigation Corps chief, Li Chi-hsun, used his connections to buy IBCoins for as little as NT$1.5 apiece in 2017. The suspects tricked potential investors into buying the IBCoin for NT$50-NT$100 per bit with promises of massive returns. However, the massive returns on their investment never came to fruition.
To lure in investors, the scammers adopted a lavish looking lifestyle of luxury cars and the likes. The pictures were uploaded of their social media and of course got a multitude of investors hooked. When investors exchanged their cash for IBCoins, they never received any return on their investment.
If the reports by local authorities are to be believed, the IBCoin is nothing but a front and is virtually worthless. The CIB mentioned that none of their victims has ever seen any return on their investment and “there are currently no known companies that trade or deal in IBCoins,” as the coin is banned in Taiwan.
In the two separate raids that were conducted, the CIB claims to have seized NT$2.02 million in cash, which is USD 70,000. Other items seized include luxury automobiles and written evidence of the IBCoin Taiwan cryptocurrency scam plot.
All the caught 15 scammers are currently charged with fraud, and their cases are handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office. It is here that further investigations will be undertaken and the date for the trial will be set in due course.
This scam goes on to show that crypto education is essential not only for investors but also for the general public so that they avoid falling victim to such crypto scam schemes.