A series of arrests have been made in the Australian state of Queensland after it was revealed that crypto traders in the state may have been scammed out of almost three million Australian dollars.
The alleged scam focused on the area of Gold Coast, which is located in the eastern state of Queensland.
It is suggested that those behind the operation sold more than one hundred people crypto investment packages.
These packages turned out to have no substance to them, and the profits which investors believed they were seeing were allegedly not real.
Overall, investors put down $2.7 million Australian dollars.
Now, police have made arrests – and three men and two women have been charged over the course of a period starting in May of this year and ending now. The men are aged 56, 44 and 33. The woman are aged 28 and 21.
They have been charged with money laundering, and also with fraud. It is believed that the five will be hauled before Southport Magistrates Court in batches, with hearings scheduled to take place from today (9th August) onwards and up until November.
According to the Queensland police force, the alleged scam was associated with many different names, such as “tradex123”, “The Atlas Group” and more. The main name was Exmount Holdings Group.
In a statement, a representative of the local police force narrated the story of the incidents.
Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence, who is from the State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group, said that victims tried to take their investments out of the scheme but were unable to.
“When victims attempted to withdraw their capital, they could not. Their money had gone and any attempt they made to contact one of the companies or their staff was unsuccessful”, he explained.
He also spoke about the arrests that the force had made and made an appeal both to those who think they may have been scammed in this particular instance, and also to those who could fall victim to similar scams in the future.
“While these arrests are significant and a step forward in a complex and protracted investigation, we are continuing to conduct enquiries. We would like to speak with anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to this criminal activity or may have information that could assist our enquiries”, he said.
“The Financial and Cyber Crime Group continue efforts to investigate and disrupt serious and organised fraud impacting on the community of Queensland.
“We ask the community to remain resilient against this type of offending. Always be wary of and maintain control of your finances.
“Ask yourself if you are in control of these transactions, be wary of any unsolicited telephone calls or emails offering investment opportunities and seek independent advice from friends, family or financial advisors”, he added.
If you feel that you have been a victim of this crime, you can get in touch with the police via the Scam Watch website.
You can provide information by speaking to Policelink on 131 444.