The PlusToken scam is one of the biggest crypto scams of this generation as the multinational pyramid network that originated in China, ended up netting more than $3 billion from victims throughout the globe. The whereabouts of those behind the major scam have since then remained unknown.
However, a recent report by local media outlet CLS on July 30 reveals that the Chinese police has arrested 27 core members involved in the scam, in an operation led by the nation’s top police agency, the Ministry of Public Security.
The investigation also led to the arrest of an additional 82 key members involved in the case. The report states:
“The public security organization has opened a case to investigate the “Plus Token platform” network pyramid scheme, and successively absconded all 27 major criminal suspects and 82 key members of the case.”
The pyramid scheme supposedly grew to over 3000 layers and duped more than 2 million people worldwide. The scam used cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, to fund the channels.
A massive Ponzi
The CLS report adds that the total amount of funds lost to this scam is not $3 billion, but a whopping $5.7 billion or 40 billion Chinese Yuan.
According to Dovey Wan, founding partner of blockchain-based investment company Primitive Ventures, the owner key has been burned to prevent fraud or exit scam. She added:
“I sincerely hope this attempt can be a good learning experience for the Chinese community to start an effective DAO [Decentralized Autonomous Organization], a bottom-up governance, a real movement from the people that’s for the people.”
The investigation started in 2019 and the Chinese authorities had arrested six members related to the case. They were extradited to China from Vanuatu, where Plus Token was alleged to have operations.
The 109 newly arrested members were then reported to have fled the country. The report doesn’t clarify where the police apprehended them.
The case marks the first time Chinese police have cracked down on a major international Ponzi scheme that used cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as an exchange method.
As the Daily Chain had previously reported, last month saw crypto assets linked to PlusToken accounts moved after a long time.
Almost 30 mln XRP were transferred by an account linked to PlusToken, along with other transactions totalling 71.5 mln of Ripple’s XRP.
The scam had become quite popular in China, and it is still unclear whether is active.