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Taiwan’s Bitgin crypto exchange under investigation – Here is why

Bitgin

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TL;DR

  • Bitgin exchange in Taiwan investigated for money laundering, COO arrested.
  • Local businessmen accused of multi-billion-dollar money laundering scheme.
  • Taiwan’s unregulated crypto exchange sector faces scrutiny.

Bitgin, a cryptocurrency exchange operating in Taiwan, is currently under investigation by the country’s police force for alleged involvement in a money laundering scheme. The investigation centers around the “Eighty-Eight Guild Hall” money laundering incident, with Bitgin’s COO, Yuting Zhang, recently arrested by Taiwanese authorities in connection with the case.

Allegations against Bitgin and key players

Local news reports have shed light on the ongoing investigation, implicating Bitgin and its senior executive, Yuting Zhang, in the money laundering affair. The case began with allegations against two local businessmen, Zhemin Guo and Chengwen Tu, who stand accused of operating a multi-billion-dollar money laundering scheme. They allegedly utilized their foreign exchange offices and crypto exchange accounts to launder proceeds obtained from overseas wire fraud activities.

Furthermore, Chengwen Tu faces additional charges related to tax fraud, as he is accused of falsely claiming 300 million New Taiwan Dollars ($9.28 million) in export tax refunds through the overseas sale of video game credits.

Regulatory landscape in Taiwan

It is worth noting that Taiwan currently lacks an official licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges. In response to the growing importance of the cryptocurrency industry, Bitgin, along with several other industry peers, established the Virtual Asset Service Provider Preparatory Office (VASP). This organization aims to engage in self-regulation and lobby political officials to shape the regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency sector in Taiwan.

Regarding the ongoing investigation, Yuling Tsai, the general counsel of the Taiwan VASP Association, stated,

“This time, a member of the preparatory group was involved in the investigation case. The preparatory group immediately held a meeting and issued a public response. The members involved in the case also took the initiative to suspend participation in the work of the preparatory group.”

Bitgin has issued a statement in response to the investigation, asserting that its operations remain normal and that user rights will not be affected. The exchange acknowledges that its COO, Yutian Zhang, was linked to firms involved in the Eighty-Eight Guild Hall money laundering incident from late 2021 to March 2022. However, Bitgin maintains that Zhang ceased all communications with the counterparties once allegations of money laundering surfaced.

The statement from Bitgin reads,

“At present, Bitgin is fully cooperating with the investigating unit and actively providing all necessary assistance to ensure the smooth conduct of the investigation and hopes that the facts can be clarified as soon as possible.”

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.

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