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Chinese cops cuff Hong Kong Bitcoin scammers

GBL three suspected of making off with MILLIONS

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Chinese police have nabbed three people suspected of running Bitcoin exchange GBL, which closed down abruptly in October taking with it over 25 million yuan (£2.5m, $US4.1m) of investors’ money.

The three were arrested all over the country, in Guizhou province, Anhui province and Shenzhen city, according to Xinhua.

They are a 29-year-old suspect surnamed Liu, a 24-year-old man surnamed Jin, and a 33-year-old surnamed Huang.

They are thought to have set up the trading platform back in May, claiming to be based in Hong Kong to add more legitimacy to the scam.

Although warnings about GBL appeared on Bitcoin forums soon after, the money kept on rolling in as eager investors flocked to the site.

By the end of September it had attracted over 4,400 registered users, before closing abruptly on October 26th, police told Xinhua.

Investors were locked out of their accounts and contact details were found to be fake.

There’s no official word on how much money was stolen by the three suspects, but GBL apparently grew to become China’s fourth largest Bitcoin exchange by trading volume.

The largest, BTC China, is still in negotiations with financial regulators on steps which would allow the digital currency to be used to buy goods and services in the country.

However, despite the huge hype surrounding Bitcoin, especially in China, it still hovers in a “grey area”, neither officially recognised nor banned outright, BTC CEO Bobby Lee told Bloomberg this week. ®

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