Croatia arrests three suspects linked to crypto fraud
Zagreb, Nov 15, 2023
Croatian police said Wednesday that three people had been arrested on suspicion of overseeing a fraudulent, multi-million euro cryptocurrency scheme that affected hundreds in the Balkan country.
The trio -- who helped run a firm that allegedly facilitated the trading of cryptocurrencies are suspected of "having misled a large number of their company's clients/investors by false representation and concealing facts," police said in a statement.
Police said the three were responsible for defrauding about 800 people of at least 18.5 million euros ($19.5 million). Around 250 criminal complaints have been filed to date.
The firm was not registered to trade cryptocurrencies, authorities added.
Police did not reveal the name of the company nor the identity of the suspects.
In May, Croatian National Bank governor Boris Vujcic warned that the institution does not regulate the cryptocurrency market and called for potential investors to be careful.
The Balkans have become a popular destination for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.
In March, Montenegro authorities arrested fugitive cryptocurrency entrepreneur Do Kwon at the airport in Podgorica, while carrying alleged fake travel documents.
The Terraform founder has been in custody in Montenegro ever since as he awaits trial, with South Korea and the United States pushing for his extradition.
Cryptocurrencies have come under increasing scrutiny from regulators after a string of recent controversies, including the high-profile collapse of the exchange FTX.
The digital currency sector has also been hit hard by the demise of US crypto lenders Silvergate and Signature amid a string of banking failures earlier this year that rattled global markets.
[The Times of India]