A Suspected Scam Coin Operator Arrested in South Korea

A Suspected Scam Coin Operator Arrested in South Korea

A suspected scam coin operator has been arrested in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, in a case that appears to be connected to the ongoing controversy surrounding the blockchain firm Winnerz. According to YTN, the Gimpo police have charged an individual in their 20s with fraud, while a second individual, also in their 20s, has been charged with “aiding and abetting fraud.” The police have refrained from revealing details about the accused for legal reasons. However, the individual charged with fraud, referred to as “A” by the South Korean press, has been described as the “CEO of a cryptoasset-related company.” The police have also mentioned that the firm in question had used celebrities, including a former national team soccer player, to promote a coin.

Earlier this week, Lee Chun-soo, a star of the 2002 World Cup, admitted to having conversations with the operators of the Golden Goal (GDG) coin. Lee stated that he had discussed a potential collaboration involving NFTs in 2021. GDG officials released photos of Lee Chun-soo in September 2021 as part of their promotional efforts. However, Lee recently came forward to express his dissatisfaction, stating that his photos were used without his permission or knowledge. This revelation has brought further attention to the controversy surrounding Winnerz and its projects.

According to the police, investors were lured with promises of benefiting from buying a token before its listing on domestic exchanges. However, the token in question was never listed on any domestic trading platform. Investors later found themselves unable to withdraw their investments from a GDG-related platform. It is alleged that the accused, “A,” defrauded around 30 investors, causing a loss of over $2.25 million. The accused had been operating a virtual currency business since March 2021. Notably, the football player involved has denied any association with the virtual currency issued by this company.

The police previously attempted to arrest “A” but failed to obtain an arrest warrant from the court. However, their more recent request was granted, possibly due to Lee’s statements and the growing scrutiny surrounding the so-called Winnerz “scam coin” projects. Winnerz operates the WNZ coin, which is listed on overseas exchanges. The company is involved in various sports ventures and blockchain-related operations. Winnerz, however, has denied any wrongdoing and distanced itself from alleged scam tokens associated with its name. Nevertheless, netizens in South Korea have accused “A” of being Choi Seung-jung, an individual believed to be affiliated with Winnerz and the mastermind behind the GDG project. The police have stated that they intend to conclude their investigation into “A” and the second suspect in the near future.

Various prominent figures, including YouTubers, TV personalities, and social media stars, have disassociated themselves from Winnerz as the controversy unfolds. Anonymous individuals shared a post online, describing Winnerz as operating a “multi-level scam,” which promptly went viral on February 5. The investors affected have taken their case to the police. Additionally, regulators have indicated the possibility of investigating the sale of 2023 NFT-powered concert tickets by K-pop star PSY, famous for his hit song “Gangnam Style.”

The arrest of the suspected scam coin operator in South Korea, along with the involvement of notable figures and the ongoing investigations, has shed light on the potential risks and fraudulent activities prevalent in the cryptocurrency industry. It serves as a reminder for investors to exercise caution and conduct thorough due diligence before engaging in any virtual currency transactions or investments.

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