Egyptian authorities have arrested 29 people, including 13 foreign citizens, accused of running an online cryptocurrency scam that defrauded thousands of investors, state media reported.
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Authorities have arrested 29 people, including 13 foreign citizens, in connection with the fraudulent platform known as “HoggPool.”
The scheme first appeared in Egypt in August, promising investors large profits from crypto mining and trading.
Crypto trading in 2018 was declared forbidden in Egypt under Islamic law. While that religious decree was not legally binding, a de facto ban has been in place thanks to prohibitive banking laws introduced in 2020.
The scheme promised large profits from cryptocurrency mining and trading services, for fees charged at an attractive foreign exchange rate.
It is illegal to dabble in cryptocurrency in Egypt – the act may be punishable by prison and a fine of up to $325,000.
HoggPool abruptly ceased operations in February and vanished with the money, the state-run daily Al-Ahram reported.
Authorities said the network was planning to launch a new platform called “Riot” when they were arrested.
The interior ministry said 16 Egyptians and “13 foreign nationals of the same country”, who were not identified, had been arrested. Officials also seized 95 mobile phones, 3,367 SIM cards and 41 foreign bank cards, it said.
Egypt is suffering one of its worst-ever economic crises.