In Istanbul, a massive crypto scam has been revealed after an investigation carried out by the police. 101 hostages were involuntarily made to run scam operations.
A bogus crypto investment consultancy agency was unveiled by the Istanbul police in its attempt to crackdown on the increasing crypto scams. The investigation revealed that the scam agency had 101 employees as part of company.
Allegedly, these employees were in fact kidnapped and forced to work for the scam agency, thereby duping crypto investors. The abducted individuals were held captive in houses across the city.
According to the police investigation, around eighteen Chinese nationals are suspected to be involved in the scam. The suspects comprise of both programmers and computer engineers. They had apparently enticed the hostages by guaranteeing to provide them with work opportunities.
Like all other scams this one too offered to double returns on digital assets. The scam agency’s advertisement messages indicated that if investors invested their virtual money with them, they would get twice in return.
A team of 100 police officers was arranged by the Public Security Branch Extortion Bureau Team to dismantle the crypto scam.
The masterminds behind the crypto scam brought hostages from various parts of the world. These captives comprised of people from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and China, who entered into turkey via tourist visas.
Since the hostages serving as the employees of the scam agency were tricked into becoming part of it, the authorities freed them. However, the 18 members part of the scam group have been detained by the authorities.
According to a statement of the Turkish police, two Chinese captives informed China’s consulate about the scenario. The consulate then informed the Istanbul authorities about the crypto scam.
A raid conducted by the police included 677 SIM cards, 112 computers, 712 cellphones, and 43 credit and debit cards. The police also came across different fiat currencies worth $200,000. The investigation also revealed about the nine villas the gang owned outside the city.
Despite their conditions, the hostages received remuneration for their job. Reportedly, each hostage employee earned about $1,000 per month. But the irony of it was that while they were earning they couldn’t spend any of it. The employees were not allowed to leave the villas they were being held hostage in. The worst of it all was that the kidnappers had even taken custody of their passports, making escape almost impossible.
While crypto scams are incessantly increasing, such a scam is unheard of. The scammers weren’t only swindling investors and users out of money, but also forced people to play accomplice in this scheme of theirs.
Crypto scams in China are very common, which is also why China made the digital asset illegal.