Changpeng Zhao: Binance Freezes $11.8M Stolen in Abduction Extortion

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to disclose that the exchange had played a crucial role in assisting a client to recover $11.8 million after they were kidnapped and extorted. The victims, identified as executives from a client company, were lured into a trap under the guise of a ‘business trip’ to Montenegro, where they fell prey to abductors who forced them to empty their wallets, resulting in a total loss of approximately $12.5 million.

Changpeng Zhao’s tweet shed light on the grave situation, stating, “Executives from a client were lured on a ‘business trip’ to Montenegro, where they were abducted and forced to empty their wallets. Total loss ~$12.5m.”

In response to this distressing incident, Binance promptly investigated the on-chain activities and collaborated with its partners to freeze the compromised wallet. The stolen funds, all in USDT, were traced to a Tron wallet, and Binance successfully froze $11.8 million out of the total $12.5 million stolen.

The incident highlights a growing trend of cryptocurrency-related kidnappings and ransom demands, particularly in European countries. Kidnappers are increasingly targeting high-profile crypto investors, taking advantage of the decentralized and often pseudonymous nature of cryptocurrencies.

On November 9, a prominent crypto influencer on Twitter shared similar incidents involving well-known cryptocurrency investors in Sweden. Attackers forcibly entered their homes, subjected them to physical assault and restraint for several hours, despite the victims providing information and transferring funds as demanded.

Binance, in 2023, has emerged as a proactive force in supporting law enforcement globally, collaborating with authorities in countries like Thailand and Israel to investigate cryptocurrency-related criminal cases. The exchange has not only assisted in freezing wallets associated with illicit activities but has also taken measures to curb financial support for terrorist organizations.

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