The U.K.’s Greater Manchester Police (GMP) announced Friday that about $5.4 million of the funds seized from an international crypto scam rumbled by its police officers in July last year had been returned to rightful owners. “Over four million pounds have been returned to 23 verified victims, and officers are currently investigating another 127 reported claims alongside partners in international law enforcement across the globe,” the police announced.
More seized funds will be returned to their rightful owners.
The police noted, “another seven million pounds to be returned to rightful owners.” However, the announcement does not specify whether the victims will receive cryptocurrency or fiat currency from the police. “A sum of $22.25 million (equivalent to just over £16 million) was seized by specialist officers from Greater Manchester Police’s Economic Crime Unit in July 2021, after intelligence led to the discovery of USB sticks containing huge amounts of Ethereum,” the police detailed. A total of 150 victims from all over the world contacted officers in the unit, the police added.
Crypto investors based in the U.K., U.S., Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong deposited money.
Crypto investors based in the U.K., U.S., Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong deposited money into what they thought was an online saving and trading service using Binance Smart Chain, the police explained. However, the scammers subsequently shut down the scheme’s website and transferred the funds into their own accounts. A 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old female were arrested for the crypto scam and money laundering offenses but have been released under investigation pending further inquiries.