In a first-of-its-kind operation, law enforcement agents in Singapore have arrested and charged two people to court for promoting the OneCoin crypto scam and multi-level marketing scheme, according to a Business Times report published April 10, 2019.
End of the Road for OneCoin Promoters
Per sources close to the matter, Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) have carried out a joint investigation on the activities of two suspected fraudsters promoting the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam scheme in the state.
Reportedly, one of the culprits registered a company, One Concept Pte Ltd in Singapore and solicited investment from residents via the firm.
Residents invested in the OneCoin scheme by purchasing online educational courses tied to promotional tokens and participants were required to bring in new users to reap huge referral rewards.
Commenting on the matter, the Singapore Police Force reiterated that the activities of the OneCoin promoters contravenes the laws of the land and as such, the culprits will be punished accordingly.
“The promotional tokens could be used to mine new OneCoins. Investors who brought in new participants were also entitled to overriding commissions, and this is not in line with the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Prohibition) Act.”
OneCoin Banned in the U.S.
The OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme was reportedly founded in Bulgaria as far back as 2014, by Ruja Ignatova. The OneCoin scheme is illegal in several jurisdictions, including the United States and many people have been arrested to date in connection with the scheme.
In New Zealand, residents have been warned to refrain from investing, promoting or participating in the OneCoin Ponzi scheme.
Interestingly, earlier in March 2019, Konstantin Ignatov, a relative of Ignatova was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport by law enforcement agents.
Konstantin was reportedly charged with wire fraud and conspiracy, while Ignatova, whose whereabouts remain unknown, is wanted for wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
Banned In Singapore
Despite the relatively crypto-friendly nature of Singapore, authorities remain focused on eliminating rogue actors looking to defraud unsuspecting crypto enthusiasts via scam schemes like OneCoin.
Accordingly, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. (MAS) has now blacklisted both the OneCoin project, as well as One Concept Pte Ltd, by placing them on the Investor Alert List.
The MAS and the police have advised members of the public to desist from pumping funds into OneCoin, making it clear that defaulters will be sentenced to five years imprisonment under the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Prohibition) Act, or forced to pay a hefty fine of $200,000.
Due to the unregulated nature of the cryptospace, fraudsters have used the opportunity to orchestrate various shady projects and even initial coin offerings (ICOs) in a bid to get rich quick at the detriment of others.
Earlier in May 2018, Bitcoin Exchange Guide informed that one of the leaders of the now-defunct BitConnect scheme had been arrested in connecting with kidnapping and extortion.
In January 2019, Bitcoin Exchange Guide reported that Coinopsy had revealed that at least 264 ICO projects kicked the bucket in 2018 alone.
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