Ponzi scammers resorts to Crypto Fraud pilfering Rs billions from over 8,000 Sri Lankans
Ponzi scammers are exacerbating the existing economic misery of thousands of Sri Lankans by swindling their savings with fake crypto currency schemes; informed sources divulged
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has launched an investigation into a new financial fraud which so far has involved Rs.14 billion with 8,000 people being victims in a fake crypto currency scheme.
Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that the alleged fraud was carried out by a Chinese couple and a Sri Lankan citizen and 8,000 people had fallen victim to it since 2020.
The spokesman said the suspects had invited selected individuals to five star hotels and influenced them that there would be high profits by investing in crypto currency.
He said the Chinese couple and the Sri Lankan were the masterminds behind the fraud and won the trust of their victims by inviting them to lavish dinners.
However, when the investors had tried to withdraw the profits they had earned through the investments, the suspects had not allowed them to withdraw the funds.
SSP Thalduwa said a number of complaints had been received at the Financial Fraud unit of the CID. After lengthy investigations, they had arrested the Chinese couple at the Bandaranaike International Airport when they had tried to flee the country. The Chinese couple is currently in remand custody.
The Sri Lankan involved in the fraud was arrested on October 11. He was later released on bail after being produced in court.
Meanwhile, the spokesman said several other suspects were also arrested over the fraud and were remanded.
Details of a latest Crypto currency Ponzi (Pyramid) scam have been revealed recently following a complaint filed in a civil lawsuit by a disgruntled investor Sudath Ranjan Silva at Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.
More than 1000 Sri Lankans in one district alone reported losing around Rs. 8 billion in investments made in Sports Chain crypto currency platform founded by Zhang Kai, a Chinese and Shamal Bandara, according to documents submitted to Sri Lankan authorities.
Colombo Additional Magistrate Manjula Rathnayake imposed a travel ban on five persons for allegedly defrauding an amount of Rs.8 billion of investors in the fake Crypto Ponzi scheme called Sports Chain.
A separate complaint was made by several disgruntled investors to the Inspector General of Police claimed that around 8000 persons countrywide including doctors engineers and teachers have joined in the Sports Chain Society Sri Lanka, an investor of the scheme said. .
They have informed the IGP these investors have been duped by a fake crypto currency investment scheme.
On its website, Sports Chain claimed this venture as a “highly profitable” and “anonymous” company with the goal of “becoming an ever-growing crypto currency used in the digital finance of the sports industry”.
However he noted that he has done a fact check in Internet website for tracking crypto assets, there was no “Sports Chain” crypto currency registered or trading in the market.
The Sports Chain mobile application is not available on Google Play or the App Store and has to be downloaded using a web link, he added.
To use the app, investors had to enter the transfer key of the partner who introduced the concept to them. Sports Chain called this a system of “building a partner network” and actually it was a Ponzi scheme, he explained
This company has conducted promotional campaigns several events and meetings for investors, sometimes at five-star hotels in Colombo motivating them to join the chain, he added.