Taiwan police have raided several venues in the lead up to the arrest of 14 people connected to a crypto scam.
According to authorities, the culprits had been involved in fraudulent crypto investment pyramids that have relieved investors of $5.41m in the last 12 months. Some 100 people have fallen victim to the operation.
According to police investigator Kuo Yu-chih, the scam was led and operated by a local businessman identified only as Chen.
Yu-chih said: “Chen and his staff set up websites, and allegedly used photographs of pretty women to attract mainly male victims, many of whom were in retirement with substantial savings.”
Chen promised investors huge returns on popular cryptocurrencies, such as Ether (ETH), Tron (TRX) and Tether (USDT).
All suspects have been charged with fraud, money-laundering and infringements of the Organized Crime Prevention Act, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) announced shortly after the arrests.
The CIB launched its investigation into the operation after one victim complained that they had invested more than $1.5m and had received nothing back.
Taiwan is among the latest countries to take crypto scams seriously.
One of the world's most notorious such pyramid schemes was operated by Ruja Ignatova through OneCoin, a now busted Ponzi scheme. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has urged caution when investing in crypto trading platforms that promise a quick return, and has recently targeted BitConnect.