On 26 January 2019, Focus Taiwan, a local English-language news outlet, reported that Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested 15 suspects in New Taipei who were allegedly operators of a crypto scam involving $8 million.
Li Chi-hsun, CIB’s Investigation Corps chief, announced at a press conference that 15 suspects have been apprehended from two raids dated 9 January 2019 and 17 January 2019. The leader of the criminal group, surnamed Lin, was also detained during the raids.
Lin allegedly purchased IBCoin, an Ethereum (ETH) ERC200 token, in the year 2017 at a low price of NT$1.5 (approx. $0.05) per token and asked his group members to sell them to investors at a high price of NT$50-NT$100 (approx. $1.62-$3.25) per token.
The fraudsters purportedly promoted IBCoin to be utilised as a method of payment for the adult entertainment industry. They captured victims’ attentions through social media publication that showed pictures and images of fancy cars and expensive lifestyles. They further talked victims into investing in their fake scheme by promising them high returns. Over 30 victims were defrauded of their money as they did not see any forms of returns and the IBCoins they possessed did not have any practical uses, resulting in a total lost of approximately NT$250 million (approx. $8.12 million).
In the two raids, the CIB seized a few expensive vehicles along with cash worth NT$2.02 million (approx. $660,000). A written evidence related to the scam plot of the IBCoin scheme was also found.
The 15 arrested suspects were charged with fraud and handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutor Office. The date for their trial have yet to be set by the office.
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