Officials in Egypt arrested 29 persons, including 13 foreign nationals, on suspicion of orchestrating an online cryptocurrency scam that robbed thousands of investors, according to state media.
According to a report published on Sunday, the network earned almost $620,000 at the expense of victims in the country, which is currently suffering from an economic crisis and fast inflation.
According to local media, the online platform “HoggPool,” which launched in August, promised clients “cash rewards after luring them through fraudulent means,” according to a statement made late Saturday by the prosecution office.
Also read, How to avoid Crypto Scam Apps
The plan offered big earnings from cryptocurrency mining and trading services in exchange for fees payable at a low foreign exchange rate.
It is prohibited in Egypt to engage in bitcoin; the offense is punishable by prison and a fine of up to $325,000.
According to the state-run publication Al-Ahram, HoggPool abruptly suspended operations in February and vanished with the money.
When they were seized, the network was going to establish a new platform called “Riot,” according to authorities.
The interior ministry said 16 Egyptians and “13 foreign nationals of the same country” had been detained. According to the report, officials also seized 95 mobile phones, 3,367 SIM cards, and 41 foreign bank cards. Egypt is experiencing one of its greatest economic crises in history.
Egypt’s pound has lost nearly half its value versus the US dollar since March 2022. A severe dollar shortage has stifled imports and created a backlog of goods at ports, affecting local industries.
According to official data, inflation reached 25.8 percent in January, the highest level in five years. Many staple food prices have grown significantly quicker.
Before COVID-19, official data labeled around 30% of the population as impoverished, and analysts say that number has climbed since then. Around 60 percent of Egypt’s 104 million people are thought to be poor or close to it.
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