British Police Unveil Seizure of $1.7 Billion in Bitcoin Linked to Chinese Investment Fraud

British Police Unveil Seizure of $1.7 Billion in Bitcoin Linked to Chinese Investment Fraud

In a recent court hearing in London, the Metropolitan Police disclosed the seizure of over 60,000 BTC, valued at $1.7 billion, connected to a major Chinese investment scam. The revelation, stemming from a 2018 seizure, was part of the ongoing trial of Jian Wen, accused of laundering Bitcoin for her former employer, Yadi Zhang, also known as Zhimin Qian.

The police successfully recovered the cryptocurrency from four separate devices stored in a safe deposit box in 2018, as disclosed during the recent court hearing. Specific details about the recovery process in 2021 were not provided.

The prosecution alleges that the substantial Bitcoin haul originated from an investment scam orchestrated by Zhang in China from 2014 to 2017, targeting more than 128,000 investors. Currently at large, Zhang is accused of conducting the fraud, while Wen, though not directly involved in the scam, is facing charges of assisting Zhang in converting the illicit Bitcoin into cash, jewelry, and other luxury items.

This development marks the second significant case unveiled in January, following reports of German authorities seizing around 50,000 BTC in a joint operation targeting an illicit online file-sharing service. The collaborative effort involved Saxony state prosecutors, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation focused on two individuals suspected of accumulating the substantial BTC sum through profits from a German-based file-sharing website, which ceased operations in 2013.

These cases underscore the international collaboration in tackling cryptocurrency-related crimes and highlight the growing significance of law enforcement efforts to address illicit activities within the crypto space.

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