Local media claimed on Friday that Hong Kong police raided and arrested a criminal suspected of being a Triad member in an alleged $102,067 crypto fraud.
The Triad organization (14K) is a Hong Kong-based underground criminal organization. Since 1945, the organization has been involved in a variety of illicit operations, including drug trafficking, counterfeiting, illegal gambling, bookmaking, arms trafficking, human trafficking, identity theft, and money laundering.
According to police investigations, the suspect, 28, duped a 30-year-old investor by instructing him to send money to buy Tether (USDT), a popular stablecoin.
On the night of the incident, the suspect visited the victim on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and took $102,067 in cash from him before leaving and promising to send the digital asset to his crypto wallet.
After seeing no Tether (USDT) value in his crypto wallet, the victim realized the transaction was a hoax. At 9.30 p.m. on Saturday, he went on to alert authorities.
Using surveillance camera footage, authorities were able to track down and arrest the suspect on Thursday in a public housing flat in Tin Shui Wai. They seized $5,105, which they suspect came from the scheme.
Local authorities are also keeping an eye on another Triad member who had reached out to the victim online in an attempt to dupe him into making fraudulent transactions, according to reports.
Criminals have targeted bitcoin as a tool to carry out a variety of illicit acts as it continues to grow and become more widespread.
Polish officials intercepted and arrested a criminal ring carrying drugs worth $4.6 million to the United States earlier this week, according to reports.
The organization used conventional courier services to carry out its operations, and its clients paid them in cryptocurrency, according to the report.
According to Chainalysis statistics, criminals laundered over $8 billion in cryptocurrencies in 2021, up 30% from the previous year.