Woman in her 60s arrested over million-euro cryptocurrrency investment fraud
A very modern scam.
A woman has been arrested following an investigation into a cryptocurrency-based fraud that saw as much as €1 million invested on behalf of the victim.
The woman, who is aged in her 60s, has been detained following searches carried out by personnel attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) in the south Dublin area.
The searches were conducted on Thursday, 3 February.
The arrest follows GNECB investigations into the woman, who is suspected of acting as an investment intermediary within Ireland, without the authority of the Central Bank.
She is being held at Irishtown Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
The activity in question refers to an offence contrary to Section 9 of the Investment Intermediaries Act of 1995 which prohibits any registered company or any individual to act as an investment business firm or to claim themselves to be an investment business firm in or outside the State, without proper authorisation.
In this particular instance, the money 'invested' was transferred to Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) and subsequently converted to cryptocurrency.
The virtual assets were then transferred and moved through the blockchain – a decentralised ledger of all transactions made across a peer-to-peer network.
Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority.
Following enquiries and collaboration with various international banks, the GNECB managed to identify a person who had transferred almost €1 million under the auspices of an investment.
Following co-operation with the relevant financial institutions, nearly 50% of the overall investment sum was frozen and returned to the victim.
Investigations into the matter are ongoing.