China’s Top Prosecutor Cracks Down on Blockchain and Metaverse Offenses

  • China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate is cracking down on crimes in the blockchain and metaverse, targeting online fraud and money laundering.
  • Hu Moumou’s telecom fraud group in Myanmar scammed 121 victims out of over 29 million yuan through a deceptive investment app.
  • The prosecution led to Hu Moumou and associates receiving significant prison sentences for fraud and human smuggling.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China, which is the country’s highest prosecutorial body, has flagged an alarming rise in cybercrimes facilitated by blockchain technology and within the metaverse environments. The use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering has been particularly troubling, obscuring the trail of illegal fortunes.

A striking example unfolded in November 2020 when Hu Moumou, alongside accomplices, initiated the “Xingwang Company” in Myanmar, launching the “SoftBank Group” App. This venture was a front for a telecom network fraud operation, meticulously organized with defined roles ranging from the boss to team members.

They engaged in the “pig butchering” scheme, a sinister fraud method targeting unsuspecting individuals through social and dating apps, ultimately conning them into investing in high-return schemes that were nothing but smoke and mirrors. By August 2021, this criminal outfit swindled over 29 million yuan from 121 victims. Additionally, Hu Moumou’s operations included human smuggling, highlighting the diverse criminal activities undertaken by these networks.

In response, from October 2021 to February 2023, the Jining City Public Security Bureau took action against Hu Moumou and associates, leading to a series of arrests and legal proceedings. The organized structure and broad scope of their criminal activities were thoroughly investigated, culminating in significant convictions. Hu Moumou received a 20-year sentence, along with hefty fines, setting a precedent in the crackdown on such elaborate cybercrimes.

In light of these events, the prosecutorial authorities have issued public warnings against the “pig butchering” scams, urging vigilance among citizens when interacting online. The public is advised to critically assess investment opportunities and remain cautious of sharing personal information on the internet.

Gao Moumou and associates formed a “money laundering gang,” collaborating with fraudsters to launder money through intricate networks involving bank cards, POS machines, and cryptocurrencies. This operation assisted in the transfer of over 110 million yuan, highlighting a sophisticated system designed to facilitate and profit from criminal activities.

When taken as a whole, these examples serve as a jarring reminder of the shifting dynamics of cybercrime and the need of maintaining vigilance on the part of individuals, institutions, and the legal system in order to confront these dangers.

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