Manchester Police Recover Millions in Ethereum from an Online Safe

In a show of skill and stroke of luck, Manchester police have recovered £7 million in Ethereum from a USB and an online safe belonging to an illegal scheme and have so far managed to return £4 to 23 victims. The process of returning funds is ongoing, but looks promising.

This is yet another success for crypto recovery as increasingly law enforcement is using effective methods to discover the identities behind suspicious bitcoin wallets and recovering funds from fraudulent crypto transactions. 

The Downfall of a Crypto Savings and Investment Scheme

Around 127 people were victims of a fake savings and investment scheme using Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin. Those behind the scheme are Manchester residents, a 23-year-old man, and a 25-year-old woman, and have been arrested by the Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of fraud and money laundering. 

After reaching out to customers from the UK, USA, Europe, China, and Australia and promising them rich returns for their funds, the couple ghosted them and took their money for themselves. 

Unfortunately, in the past, this might have been the end of the story, but a combination of improved knowledge of how to combat crypto schemes and luck allowed the Greater Manchester Police to locate the funds and apprehend those responsible for the cybercrime. 

Law enforcement discovered a USB stick with £7 million pounds worth of Ethereum on it. Just a few days later, they recovered an additional £9.3 from an online safe that included the codes so they could unlock the funds. 

Of course, crypto trace and recovery are usually much harder because criminals are often more skilled at covering their tracks. However, determining the allocation of Ethereum will be an ongoing challenge, but the police force is up to the task, as well as combating other cases of crypto fraud. 

Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop from the Greater Manchester Police’s cybercrime unit requested that anyone with information on crypto fraud go to the authorities and warned the public to use caution when dealing with cryptocurrency. 

He told SkyNews, “This type of crime is increasing across the globe and criminals are getting savvier by finding ways to exploit the trend in ways even the most experienced users can’t anticipate.” He added, “If it seems too good to be true it probably is.” 

The Challenge of Crypto Trace and the Blockchain

The Greater Manchester Police in this case had several things going their way. First, they located a USB with significant amounts of Ethereum on it, and second, they found an online safe with the codes included. This is a fluke that is the equivalent of the police discovering a thief’s safe with a key lying right on top of it. It is good news that the cybercriminals, in this case, were particularly careless. 

However, even for operations run by more astute criminals, police crypto units are becoming savvier at tracking down those who run cryptocurrency schemes, seizing funds, and returning them to victims. There is obviously no guarantee that this will be the outcome, but it is happening more often now than in the past. 

How Law Enforcement Can Deal With Crypto Schemes More Effectively

Several factors can make the job of police crypto units easier. First, not all law enforcement in all areas of the world are ready to meet the challenges posed by cryptocurrency financial crimes. Greater investment and training and technology can increase the effectiveness of tracking down illegal crypto activities. 

Second, successful cases are often the result of police cooperation with investigators and crypto trace experts to track down suspicious bitcoin wallets. MyChargeBack professionals play a vital role in crypto investigations. 

We consult with clients, gather information about a particular case, and apply advanced crypto algorithms and cointracking technology to locate anonymous bitcoin wallets, detect patterns and uncover the identities behind crypto fraud. We create investigation reports that detail the case and our findings and identify people and locations that may be connected to the crime. 

When our clients approach law enforcement and crypto exchanges with these investigation reports, they can greatly increase their chances for a successful result. 

If you have lost money to a cryptocurrency scheme, seek fund recovery assistance right away. Consult with MyChargeBack experts and get started with your fund recovery claim. We have extensive working knowledge and relationship with regulators as well as the dynamics of crypto recovery and can improve our prospects of getting your money back.