Police forces in Belgium, France and Israel have reportedly stopped an international fraud that promises high returns of up to 35% on crypto investments. A large French private company and a French local authority are reported to be among the 85 victims of the network. A total of 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the case.
Cooperation between the French Gendarmerie Nationale, the Belgian Police Judiciaire Fédérale and the Israeli police has brought down a large network allegedly involved in money laundering and fraud in binary investments, Europol said. An unnamed person, who has already been convinced of the carbon tax fraud, is suspected of being the mastermind behind the fraud.
Investigations in this network began in 2018, Europol revealed. In early 2019, four suspects were arrested in France. And at the end of 2019, five more suspects were arrested in Israel with the support of an international task force set up by the European agency.
The group is said to have set up online platforms that promise high returns on investments in crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin as well as gold and diamonds. Victims were promised returns of between 5% and 35%, and group members initially pretended to successfully manage their accounts for them and then encouraged them to invest more money.
A large French private company and a French local authority are said to be among the 85 victims of the network. The fraud is being blamed by an investigator for a fraud of at least 6 million euros. The investigators also discovered invoices for several million euros that had not yet fallen into the hands of the members of the group. More than 1 million euros have already been seized by the authorities from the network’s accounts.
“The criminal group contacted the victims by phone and offered them huge profits from investments in crypto currencies of up to 35 percent,” declared the European Union Agency for Criminal Law Cooperation, Eurojust.
“In order to gain their trust, the victims initially made small profits from these investments, thereby encouraging them to make further investments. The victims were then cheated on later payments. These were transferred to bogus companies set up for this purpose by the OCG [Organised Crime Group]. The profits were then quickly transferred via bank accounts in other EU Member States to bank accounts in various Asian countries and Turkey.”