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Taiwan’s ACE Exchange Investigation Unearths NT$1 Billion Scam

Taiwan’s cryptocurrency landscape faced a jolt as ACE, one of its largest exchanges, came under scrutiny by the New Taipei City Criminal Police Brigade over suspected fraudulent activities. The investigation uncovered a staggering amount exceeding NT$1 billion (around 32.2 million USD) linked to the promotion of “shitcoins.”

The probe led to the arrest of 14 individuals, including Lin Nan and Pan Nan, who allegedly collaborated in deceiving over 100 investors across three years. The scheme revolved around false advertising that enticed investors into pouring funds into seemingly worthless virtual currencies. Beyond cash transactions, over NT$100 million in virtual currencies were converted into Taiwanese dollars, totaling illegal profits of approximately NT$200 million.

Lin Nan utilized social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to propagate false claims of rapid wealth accumulation through investing in cryptocurrencies. Pan Nan leveraged ACE Exchange’s credibility to list these dubious currencies, adding a veneer of legitimacy.

The police confiscated the cash in boxes. 
(Photo by reporter Xu Shenglun)

Authorities emphasized ACE Exchange’s exploitation of information gaps, touting virtual currencies as the latest technological breakthroughs akin to the success story of Bitcoin. The victims fell prey to high rewards and the semblance of a professional operation. However, the reality was starkly different as investors found themselves holding onto worthless or defunct coins, incapable of being cashed out or circulated.

The police sent 14 people including Lin and Pan to custody. 
(Photo by reporter Xu Shenglun)

The police conducted raids across 15 locations, culminating in the arrests of Lin, Pan, and their associates, while seizing NT$111.52 million in cash from Lin’s residence. Additionally, NT$108 million in virtual currencies was confiscated from the company’s premises, tallying over NT$200 million in illicit gains. Law enforcement estimates suggest that the fraudulent activities orchestrated by Lin and Pan over three years could surpass NT$1 billion.

During police interrogations, both Lin and Pan remained reticent, evading direct confessions. Following the inquiries, all 14 individuals, including Lin and Pan, faced charges under the Criminal Law, Money Laundering Prevention Act, and Banking Act.

The investigation’s unfolding details paint a concerning picture of exploitation within Taiwan’s cryptocurrency domain, underscoring the need for stricter regulatory measures to safeguard investors against such fraudulent practices. As legal proceedings proceed, authorities aim to ensure accountability and justice for those affected by this significant scam.

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