HomeCryptoSix Austrians detained in multi-million euro cryptocurrency scam

Six Austrians detained in multi-million euro cryptocurrency scam


Austrian, Cypriot, and Czech Law Enforcement Collaborate to Dismantle Cryptocurrency Scam

Austrian Authorities Bust Cryptocurrency Scam, Arrest Six Suspects

In a joint effort, law enforcement agencies from Austria, Cyprus, and Czechia have successfully dismantled an online cryptocurrency scam, leading to the arrest of six individuals believed to be behind the fraudulent scheme. The investigation, supported by Europol and Eurojust, targeted the orchestrators of a new cryptocurrency launched in December 2017.

During the operation, authorities conducted six house searches, seizing over EUR 500,000 in cryptocurrencies, EUR 250,000 in fiat currency, and freezing numerous bank accounts. Additionally, assets worth EUR 1.4 million, including two cars and a luxury property, were confiscated.

The scam unfolded between December 2017 and February 2018, with the perpetrators posing as a legitimate online trading company offering a new cryptocurrency through an initial coin offering (ICO). Investors were lured into purchasing tokens with established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, with promises of proprietary software and a unique algorithm for token sales.

However, suspicions arose due to a lack of transparency regarding the team members and the cryptocurrency’s algorithm. The scammers abruptly shut down the project’s social media accounts and website in February 2018, executing an exit scam and leaving investors deceived.

Europol played a crucial role in the investigation, organizing operational meetings and providing comprehensive analysis. Eurojust facilitated real-time communication among judicial authorities, aiding in the swift execution of warrants. Austrian authorities, including the Criminal Intelligence Service and Specialized Prosecution Office, were actively involved in the operations.

The arrests mark a significant victory in the fight against cryptocurrency scams, highlighting the importance of transparency and due diligence in the digital asset space. Investors are urged to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before participating in any cryptocurrency offerings.


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