12 Apr

The victims of an investment fraud scheme facilitated by an electronics company in China are reportedly seeking to recover $4.3 billion in Bitcoin BTC purchased with their money with the assistance of the United Kingdom government.

 A group representing the scam victims reportedly submitted a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China requesting that it negotiate with the U.K. government to recover the seized Bitcoin. 

In 2021, United Kingdom authorities raided a house rented by money launderers and discovered 61,000 BTC.

The group, which also contacted China's Ministry of Public Security, said it had gathered nearly 2,500 signatures from victims and planned to submit them to both ministries. 

The funds were obtained through a $6.2-billion investment scheme run by Tianjin Lantian Gerui Electronic Technology between 2014 and 2017. 

The letter demands that the Chinese government work with the United Kingdom and provide proof of their legitimate ownership of the Bitcoin, stating: "We do not want, and will never accept, a situation where Bitcoins are confiscated by the UK and not returned to us."  

U.K. After former hospitality employee Jian Wen attempted to launder money by using Bitcoin to purchase a $30 million house, officials confiscated the cryptocurrency. Wen's inability to disclose the source of the funds caused the transaction to fall through.

This prompted an inquiry by the police, which resulted in a home invasion in 2021. Police at the time discovered 61,000 Bitcoin in the home that Wen and her supervisor, Zhimin Qian, who was thought to be the scheme's mastermind, were renting.

After being seized in 2021, the Bitcoin's value increased to approximately $4.3 billion due to the rise in the cryptocurrency's value.

After reversing her first assertion that the Bitcoin had been mined, Wen said that it was actually a "love present" from Qian, who had left the UK.

Three counts of money laundering between October 2017 and January 2022 were brought against Wen. On March 20, Southwark Crown Court found Wen guilty of money laundering, notwithstanding her denial of all counts.

April 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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