TRM Labs Plays Role in Malaysian Police’s Crack Down on US$2.5M Crypto Fraud

Malaysian authorities apprehended three individuals connected to a cryptocurrency fraud scheme, accused of misappropriating over US$2.5 million in digital currencies from twenty victims.

In a recent blog post, blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs claims to have supported the Royal Malaysia Police to trace the illicit activities and disrupt illicit use of virtual currencies.

The fraudsters allegedly promised victims up to a 50% return on investments but instead diverted these funds for personal use, engaging in money laundering through cryptocurrencies.

The successful identification and seizure of the stolen assets were made possible by tracking the fraud proceeds across multiple blockchain platforms, with plans to return these assets to the victims.

Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf, the director of the Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID), shared insights into the case, noting a preference among Malaysian criminals for cryptocurrencies due to the perceived difficulty in tracing such transactions.

However, the CCID’s crypto unit has countered this challenge by employing advanced technology to track digital currency transactions, revealing that nearly 90% of cryptocurrency-related crimes are linked to investment fraud.

Between 2019 and 2023, the unit recorded 5,507 cases of crypto investment fraud, resulting in losses of approximately RM417 million (approximately US$ 90 million).

The department’s ability to trace blockchain transactions has been instrumental in solving other significant crimes, including the identification of a hacker selling personal data from government databases and the resolution of a kidnapping and murder case involving Malaysians in the Philippines.

By tracing ransom payments to a crypto wallet, Malaysian police were able to identify the perpetrators and collaborate with Philippine authorities for their apprehension.

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