|Police in Ho Chi Minh City are coordinating with relevant agencies to examine an alleged cryptocurrency fraud involving over 32,000 people.
Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said he has directed police to investigate the case.
In December 2017, the committee issued a document directing the management and settlement of cryptocurrency and e-money in the city, he said.
Cryptocurrency is considered an illegal non-cash payment method in Vietnam. The use of virtual money as a means of payment is prohibited and will be handled according to the country’s legal regulations, he added.
To ensure safety and security of monetary activities, the municipal People’s Committee requested relevant units to strengthen inspection to promptly detect and address legal violations and minimise possible risks affecting businesses and people.
On April 8, dozens of people gathered at the headquarters of the Modern Tech JSC Co at 68 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1, to protest the “biggest digital money fraud in history” committed by the company.
They claimed that Modern Tech advertised the cryptocurrency iFan to potential investors, promising them huge monthly interest of at least 48 percent, in cash, and four months as the maximum time for full payback. Those who could invite others to buy the digital currency would also enjoy a commission of 8 percent.
The only condition for the investors was that they had to buy at least US$1,000 worth of the digital money.
More than 32,000 investors poured some VND15 trillion into buying virtual money.
However, Modern Tech changed their policy following a global cryptocurrency crash late last year which caused iFan’s value plummeted to about 1 US cent per iFan.
The company no longer paid interest and principle back to the investors in cash, but in iFan currency. Modern Tech set iFan’s value at US$5, much higher than the market price, causing losses to the customers.