OneCoin Cryptocurrency Offices Raided In Bulgariabr>
Bulgaria’s Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) has revealed its involvement in an international operation to neutralize Onecoin, an alleged cryptocurrency that has drawn law enforcement attention in several countries.
OneCoin is promoted by offshore companies OneCoin Ltd (Dubai) and OneLife Network Ltd (Belize), both led by Bulgarian Ruja Ignatova, who also has German citizenship. OneCoin has been described as a Ponzi scheme, both because of how it has been set up and because of many of the people who are central to OneCoin having previously been involved in other such schemes.
OneCoin’s main business is selling educational material for trading. It is offering educational packages ranging from $120 USD to $150,000 USD. Each package includes “tokens” which can be assigned to “mine” OneCoins. It is registered in the United Arab Emirates and operates through hundreds of affiliated companies on four continents.
In a statement on January 19, the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office said that it was collaborating with officials in Germany as well as those from international groups Eurojust and Europol to investigate OneCoin. German regulators asked the prosecutor’s office, national security agents and an organized crime unit to investigate the operations of OneCoin affiliated companies in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
The prosecutor’s office said that on January 17 and 18, the offices of One Network Services and 14 other companies were searched. Evidence was confiscated and around 50 people taken in for questioning, but no arrests have been made.
“It was suspected that organized crime groups and terrorist organizations could be funded through the OneCoin scheme,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Bulgarian One Network Services EOOD had functioned as a sales representative of OneCoin and distributor of its cryptocurrency. At present, companies associated with OneCoin are being investigated in England, Ireland, Italy, the United States, Canada, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and many other countries.”
Last year, Ignatova was arrested in India along with another 30 individuals, charged with running a scam involving thousands of investors. Indian police noted that OneCoin money was stored in 35 different bank accounts, and the majority of it was transferred to an unknown location shortly after the arrests were made.