British police seized over $1.7b in Bitcoin linked to China’s investment fraud

The Metropolitan Police revealed the seizure of over 60,000 BTC from a significant Chinese investment scam scheme.

A seizure that occurred back in 2018 was disclosed for the first time during a court hearing in London on Jan. 30, according to a Financial Times report, with the disclosure part of the ongoing trial of Jian Wen, accused of laundering Bitcoin for her former employer, Yadi Zhang (known as Zhimin Qian).

According to the report, the police seized more than 61,000 Bitcoin (BTC), valued at $1.7 billion during recovery, from four separate devices stored in a safe deposit box in 2018. The police successfully recovered the cryptocurrency from the devices in 2021, as indicated in the report, without delving into specifics.

The prosecution alleges that tens of thousands of Bitcoins originated from an investment scam Zhang conducted in China from 2014 to 2017, targeting over 128,000 investors. As of the present time, Zhang remains at large, the prosecution claims. While Wen is not accused of direct involvement in the fraud, she stands accused of assisting Zhang of converting the illicit Bitcoin into cash, jewelry, and other luxury items, according to the report.

This marks the second significant case unveiled in January alone, following reports that German authorities seized around 50,000 BTC in a joint operation targeting an illicit online file-sharing service.

As reported by crypto.news, the collaborative effort involved Saxony state prosecutors, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation centered on two individuals suspected of amassing the substantial BTC sum through profits from a German-based file-sharing website, which ceased operations in 2013.

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