Chinese national arrested for the operation of an online Ponzi scheme; nearly 24,000 victims scammed for £34 million

After issuing a Red Notice at the request of the Beijing Police, Interpol confirmed the arrest of a Chinese national allegedly in charge of a fraudulent investment scheme. The 46-year-old whose name has not been revealed was arrested when he tried to use a fake passport to obtain a visa at Jacksons International Airport in Papua New Guinea.

According to the international police agency, the defendant used various social media accounts to advertise his investment scheme, convincing a large number of victims to hand over their money and recruit other potential investors, in a sample of the well-known Ponzi scheme. The defendant and his accomplices allegedly defrauded some 24,000 people, making illicit profits of up to $35 million USD.

Interpol’s Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes Centre (IFCACC) and its Fugitive Investigation Support Unit and Command and Coordination Centre collaborated to coordinate the arrest of the Chinese individual at South Asia.

Interpol’s executive director of police services, Stephen Kavanagh, said: “This case clearly demonstrates the importance of police collaboration across global borders, making it clear to fugitives that the world is effectively shrinking through the Interpol network, leaving nowhere to hide.”

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Ponzi schemes and other variants of investment fraud ranked eighth on the list of most common cybercrimes during 2021, amassing more than 20,500 complaints. However, enterprise email compromise (BEC) attacks alone generated more benefits for hackers than investment scams over the past year, racking up more than $1.5 billion in losses.   

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.