Ukrainian authorities have arrested four individuals suspected of running fake cryptocurrency exchanges, the nation’s federal police force announced Saturday.
The National Police of Ukraine claimed in a press release that the suspects were arrested for operating as many as six fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Cybercrime officials are still looking at the sites to establish how much money was stolen from investors.
The four suspects allegedly created websites that imitated legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges, targeting investors that were interested in purchasing tokens. The suspects further asked the victims to transfer funds into digital wallets registered under forged identification documents through the fake trading sites, according to the police.
As part of the investigation, officials confiscated computers, flash drives, bank cards and mobile phones that were used by the suspects.
Ukrainian police have begun criminal proceedings under Section 3 of Article 190 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, according to statements.
The move marks one of the first major efforts by the nation to police its domestic crypto ecosystem, following a previous move to form a new working group to regulate cryptocurrencies, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
During a January meeting, National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksandr Turchynov said that a lack of regulation around the tech is a threat to Ukraine’s economy and security.
Ukrainian Flag image by Shutterstock.
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.