Japanese authorities arrested 8 subjects accused of using a pyramid scheme to collect around 68.4 million dollars in both cash and cryptocurrencies.
The suspects claimed to be representatives of a US investment company called “Sener” and that they were in the Asian country doing seminars for foreigners.
The Tokyo police stated that at least one of these meetings was recorded and uploaded to YouTube. That way, the officers knew that the detainees offered the participants monthly gains of around 3 and 20% on their investment during these meetings, at the same time that asked the attendees to invite other investors to obtain additional profits.
The police’s hypothesis is that the suspects accepted both cash and digital currencies, specifically Bitcoins, from about 6000 people in more than 40 Japanese locations, including the country’s capital.
In that sense, the Tokyo district court received a class action lawsuit filed by 73 of the scam’s victims, in which they request an approximate of $3.2 million in compensation.
So far, 6 of those involved in the case of the pyramid scheme scam have admitted the charges, while the remaining 2 continue to deny them.
According to the law enforcement agents, the crypto-friendly policies in the Asian country were the tools that the suspects tried to use to avoid prosecution, arguing that the Japanese cryptocurrencies self-regulatory policy is in a “gray area.”
Japan is one of the countries with more favorable positions and policies around cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. In fact, it was the first Asian country to admit cryptocurrencies as legal payment instruments.
The Japanese government carries out maneuvers and strategies to strengthen their digital economic model. Proof of this was the recent appointment of Takuya Hirai as the science and IT technology minister in the country, position that was granted to him for his contribution to the flexibilization of the government’s policy towards cryptocurrency exchanges and the sector’s regulation.
Similarly, last October, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan – agency in charge of granting licenses to cryptocurrency houses to operate in the country – gave the local crypto industry the status of self-regulatory.
As such, digital currencies are not values that are governed according to the current law jurisdictions, although depending on the investment’s structure, it could be regulated by them.
However, despite friendly policies that have remained stable, the Japanese cryptographic ecosystem has been affected by major cyber-attacks. Such is the case of Coincheck, a Tokyo-based crypto exchange that was the victim of the largest crypto-theft in history.