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Crypto Suspicion Triggers FCA and Police Collaboration

Crypto Suspicion Triggers FCA and Police Collaboration

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) worked together with the Metropolitan Police Service to catch two individuals. These individuals, aged 38 and 44, were suspected of running an illegal crypto asset exchange. The collaboration aimed to stop their alleged activities and bring them to justice. The operation was prompted by suspicions. These suspicions were that the exchange facilitated transactions exceeding £1 billion in unregistered crypto assets.

Bails Granted

The FCA conducted inspections at premises associated with the suspects, during which the police executed searches and seized multiple digital devices from two residential properties in London. Following these actions, both suspects were questioned under caution by the FCA and subsequently released on bail.

The investigation by the FCA remains ongoing. According to UK regulations, crypto asset exchange providers are required to be registered with the FCA and adhere to anti-money laundering protocols to operate lawfully within the country.

Therese Chambers, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA emphasized that the FCA has an important role in preventing illicit funds from entering the UK financial system. She noted that these arrests demonstrate the FCA’s commitment to preventing illegal operations by crypto firms in the UK.

The Scheme

The FCA has taken legal action against nine individuals involved in unauthorised forex trading schemes promoted through social media, according to Finance Magnates. Emmanuel Nwanze allegedly led the scheme, using Instagram to distribute unauthorised financial promotions from May 19, 2018, to April 13, 2021. The scheme focused on trading high-risk Contracts for Difference (CFDs) without authorisation. Other individuals face charges for issuing unauthorised financial promotions and are scheduled to appear in court on June 13, 2024.

In addition, the FCA has accused Kristofer McGuire, Keith Williamson, and Karla Walker of fraud related to a high-risk trading scheme targeting pension investments in CFDs. Victims were allegedly misled into investing, leading to substantial financial losses exceeding £8 million.

During its investigation, the FCA found misleading claims about victims’ professional investor status and harmful trading strategies aimed at generating large commissions. McGuire, Williamson, and Walker are set to address these charges in court.

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