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Ukraine’s National Police Detain 14 Suspects Linked to Crypto Criminal Ring

Sujha Sundararajan
Last updated: | 1 min read

The National Police of Ukraine have conducted a probe on a criminal call center ring that defrauded users by promising lucrative crypto investments.

Per a local report, police confirmed that fraudsters targeted Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and the European Union citizens using deceptive call centers.

Further, the national police have detained 14 suspects, including the alleged organizers. They have also seized 12 luxury cars, 136 units of computer equipment, 951 SIM cards, 455 starter packs, and significant amounts of cash totaling $64,500.

Two Georgian Nationals Organized Ukraine’s Crypto Crime

Per police reports, two Georgian nationals are suspected to be involved in organizing the crypto ring. These suspects have a history of involvement in criminal circles, it added.

Additionally, these two suspects reportedly pulled in 12 other unsuspecting people to involve in the illegal activity.

The officials stressed that they are “actively” investigating the issue and tracing out the total amount of the fraud as well as number of victims involved.

The Ukraine police also shared a video footage of the raids conducted in connected with the crypto call center scam.

“One of the organizers of the network of fraudulent call centers turned out to be a trusted person of a ‘thief in law’ nicknamed ‘Hmp’,” the video description read.

“Call center employees offered gullible citizens from various countries to invest money in cryptocurrency. The police carried out a special operation to neutralize the activity of a criminal organization and detain its members.”

The perpetrators skillfully impersonated as stock exchange experts, persuading individuals to invest their personal savings in cryptos.

Moreover, the police explained that the fraudsters used “psychological tactics” to convince victims on the investment’s multifold profitability. This led to victims transferring their funds to criminals’ electronic wallets and bank cards, the Ukraine officials added.

Interestingly, each of the perpetrators took up specific roles for sketching the fraudulent schemes, recruiting staffs, providing blueprint for the “business” and sharing the profits among themselves.

The suspects are serving a jail term, before facing the Kyiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office for further proceedings, the authorities noted.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said in January that crypto “is not money,” and has reaffirmed its intention to regulate the sector.