Egyptian authorities arrest 29 cryptocurrency fraudsters on charges of stealing $620,000
Egyptian authorities have arrested 29 people, including 13 foreign nationals, on charges of defrauding and stealing $620,000 from thousands of investors through online fraud, state media reported March 4.
Al-Ahram’s report said that the group that runs the fraudulent “HoggPool” platform on the Internet promised its users high financial returns for their investments, in addition to the guaranteed large profits that they would earn from the cryptocurrency mining and trading services provided by the platform. Investors were enticed by fees charged at a favorable exchange rate*.
Prior to the arrest, Egyptian prosecutors said their social media monitoring unit had discovered several posts accusing HoggPool’s founders of fraud and theft of investor funds.
The Cybercrime Department of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior also submitted documents containing complaints accusing the platform of deceiving users through electronic payments.
HoggPool first appeared in August last year before shutting down operations and stopping customer payments in late February, as the platform disappeared after thousands of dollars were stolen from customers, according to local media.
The report also noted that the platform offered different plans to customers depending on their budget and goals, by allowing them to buy or rent cryptocurrency mining machines starting at $10 with a daily profit of 10%.
Authorities said the group was planning to launch a new platform called Riot when they were arrested.
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It should be noted that Egypt banned cryptocurrency trading in 2018, citing Islamic law. While this religious edict was not legally binding, a de facto ban was imposed after the new banking laws were passed in the country in 2020.
And in September 2022, the Central Bank of Egypt warned users against transacting any type of cryptocurrency through regional and international platforms, with the institution saying that violators would be imprisoned and fined up to 10 million Egyptian pounds, or about $516,340.
However, interest in cryptocurrencies remains high in the country, which has been hit by the economic crisis and rapid inflation; The economic problems taking place in the Arab Republic have led to the depreciation of the Egyptian pound by nearly 50% against the dollar since March 2022.