Cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed that it worked alongside the U.S. government and the Thai Police in a sting operation to dismantle a cybercrime group that had stolen over $250 million in crypto assets from over 3,200 victims across Thailand.
In a company blog post published on October 4, Binance announced that it had teamed up with the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) of the Royal Thai Police and the U.S. Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) to bring down a notorious criminal ring behind a “pig butchering” scam.
Binance, Thai Police, And U.S. Homeland Security Team Up To Tackle ‘Pig Butechring’ Scam
Using crucial pieces of intelligence provided by the crypto exchange and the HSI, Thai law enforcement officials were able to arrest five key members of the criminal syndicate and seize assets valued at around $277 million, which included luxury cars, homes, real estate, and other upscale items.
In a pig butchering scam, the culprits introduce a fraudulent money or crypto-investing scheme to their victims, asking them to deposit money into fake investment accounts that promise fake profits and higher returns on investment. The impressive returns encourage victims to put more into the scheme until the pig is fattened enough to be taken to the slaughterhouse. The victims expecting considerable profit on their investment are then conned by the scammers who run away with their hard-earned money.
Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Thai Police, Thanatus Kangruambutr, appreciated Binance’s contribution to operation “Trust No One”. The inspector at the CCIB said the rise in crypto scams was causing massive financial damage to the residents of Thailand, also adding that Binance will remain an “essential ally” in law enforcement’s fight against scams and cybercrimes.
Meanwhile, Binance’s head of financial crime compliance, Tigran Gambaryan, said the company’s team-up with the Thai Police is a testament to its “mutual commitment” to protecting crypto users and advancing cybersecurity. The Binance lead also promised that the platform will continue to partner with law enforcement authorities across the globe to restore trust in the digital asset ecosystem.
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Binance Has A Long History Of Helping Stop Cyber Crimes
Binance has a long history of collaborating with law enforcement to tackle crypto-related cyber crimes. The crypto giant even started a project called the “Bulletproof Exchangers” that aims to track down transactions between Binance and high-risk entities.
The Cyber Crime Unit of the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service sought the exchange’s help to investigate an online phishing scam that caused $51 million in losses to victims. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was able to extradite phishing expert Svetoslav Donchev from Bulgaria to the U.K. to face online fraud charges for stealing 41.6 million pounds from Britons by imitating real websites of up to 53 legal firms operating in the country.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange worked with Ukraine’s cyber police to identify and arrest a group of criminals involved in a $42 million ransomware and money laundering operation. Binance even signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation to help the country develop proper crypto and digital asset legislation.
Binance Security played a key role in tackling the notorious hacking group FANCYCAT, which was linked to over $500 million in damages caused to victims worldwide by ransomware and cyberattacks.
In August, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced that the exchange had frozen and recovered $450,000, or 80% of the crypto funds that were stolen in a hack targeting the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Curve Finance (CRV). According to the Binance chief, the hacker tried to send $537,000 worth of USDC stablecoins to the exchange via multiple transactions, which were detected and flagged by the platform. The exchange was able to safely return the seized funds to Cruve Finance.