Both of them are suspected to be part of an international cryptocurrency scam. Police have recovered the assets embedded in a pen drive.
Seized assets, that included Ethereum, are estimated to be valued at $9.5 million. Rest of the currency was found in an online safe vault, according to a report on the Greater Manchester Police’s website.
In an elaborate scam, the couple (both in their early twenties) ran an online savings and trading service using Binance Smart Chain. Unsuspecting customers from the US, China, Australia, Hong Kong, UK and Europe used the website for online investments and trading.
The scamsters shut down the website when a large sum had been collected and were trying to flee from the UK after transferring money to their accounts.
They were arrested on charges of money laundering based on an intelligence tip-off. During physical frisking, police found a pen drive that contained stolen crypto assets.
The police said that $12.7 million more were seized a few days later when a “cryptograph safety deposit box” and “the code to access it” was discovered. In total, cryptocurrency worth $22.25 million was seized from the scammers, the Economic Crime Unit confirmed.
Manchester Police chief Joe Harrop has sent out an advisory to general investors and people to be extremely careful while using online services as there are significant vulnerabilities in the process.
This is not the first large-scale crypto haul in the UK. In June too, the police had arrested a 39-year old woman and seized £180 million in cryptocurrency. and before that, there was another crypto scam valued at £114 million.
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