Fraud victims want China to recover $4.3B worth of Bitcoin seized by UK police

People who have fallen victim to a Bitcoin scam orchestrated through a Chinese electronics firm are seeking assistance from the British government to retrieve approximately 4.3 billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin that was purchased with their funds.

The organization speaking for those swindled submitted a letter to China’s foreign ministry, believed to be a plea for their intervention in discussions with the British government over returning confiscated Bitcoin.

From 2014 to 2017, Tianjin Lantian Gerui Electronic Technology managed a $6.2 billion investment plan during which the funds were acquired.

Approximately 2,500 signatures were gathered by the group, who additionally reached out to China’s Ministry of Public Security, with the intention of presenting these petitions to both ministries.

In simpler terms, the letter asks China’s authorities to collaborate with the U.K. and present proof supporting their claim to the Bitcoin in question.

“We do not want, and will never accept, a situation where Bitcoins are confiscated by the UK and not returned to us.”

The U.K. government has not said how it wil deal with the Bitcoin seized in the case.

In the U.K., officials confiscated cryptocurrency following an unsuccessful attempt by ex-hospitality worker Jian Wen to disguise ill-gotten gains. Seeking to hide his funds, Wen aimed to buy a $30 million mansion using Bitcoin. However, when challenged about the origin of the money, he was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation.

Fraud victims want China to recover $4.3B worth of Bitcoin seized by UK police

In 2021, authorities launched an investigation that eventually resulted in a raid on a house. During this raid, they discovered approximately 61,000 Bitcoins at the residence shared by Wen and her employer Zhimin Qian, who was suspected of orchestrating an investment fraud scheme.

In 2021, the confiscated Bitcoin had a value of approximately $1.7 billion based on then-current prices. However, due to Bitcoin’s price increase since then, it’s now estimated to be worth around $4.3 billion.

At first, Wen asserted that she had obtained some Bitcoins through mining. Later on, however, she recanted and explained that these Bitcoins were actually a gift from Qian, who had previously lived in the U.K. and left unexpectedly.

In the timeframe from October 2017 to January 2022, Wen was accused of involvement in three money laundering incidents. However, she maintained her innocence throughout. Contrarily, Southwark Crown Court ruled Wen as guilty of money laundering on the 20th of March.

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2024-04-12 11:28