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12 April 2024

In a significant development, United Kingdom authorities uncovered 61,000 BTC during a raid on a property rented by money launderers in 2021.

This discovery is linked to an investment fraud scheme orchestrated by an electronics company in China, with victims now striving to reclaim $4.3 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) purchased with their funds, amidst the current market value of $70,773.

Representatives of the scam victims have taken action, submitting a formal letter to Beijing’s foreign ministry, urging negotiations with the UK government for the retrieval of the confiscated Bitcoin.

The fraudulent activities stem from a $6.2 billion investment scheme conducted by Tianjin Lantian Gerui Electronic Technology from 2014 to 2017.

The group behind the plea has garnered nearly 2,500 signatures from affected individuals and intends to present them to both the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the foreign ministry.

The letter emphasizes the necessity for cooperation between Chinese and UK authorities, stressing the victims’ rightful ownership of the seized Bitcoin. It asserts, “We do not want, and will never accept, a situation where Bitcoins are confiscated by the UK and not returned to us.”

UK authorities seized the cryptocurrency following a failed attempt by former hospitality worker Jian Wen to launder funds through the purchase of a $30 million mansion using BTC.

This led to a comprehensive investigation culminating in the discovery of 61,000 BTC in a property rented by Wen and her superior, Zhimin Qian, believed to be the mastermind behind the investment fraud.

Initially, Wen claimed the Bitcoin had been mined, but later altered her statement, describing it as a “love present” from Qian, who subsequently fled the UK.

Wen faced three counts of money laundering between October 2017 and January 2022. Despite denying all charges, Southwark Crown Court convicted Wen of money laundering on March 20.