A local English newspaper, the Korea Joongang Daily, has reported the successful capture of cryptocurrency ponzi suspects by South Korean police, with the aid artificial intelligence (AI).

The ponzi allegedly raked in over KRW 21.2 billion (USD 18.3 million) from victims over a period of six months last year. However, their run came to a decisive end after the Seoul Special Judicial Police Bureau for Public Safety were able to locate and capture the operators using trained robots. Feeding the AI with keywords and clues, the section chief of the bureau’s second investigation team, Hong Nam-ki, said:

“Through keywords such as Ponzi, loan and recruiting members, we were able to teach the AI patterns of Ponzi schemes. The program can also identify advertisement patterns and identified the enterprise in question, which [was caught] with evidence provided by an unnamed informant.”

The ponzi operators, who were named only as Bae and Lee, sold what they purported were private digital tokens dubbed M-Coins. Recruits would also accrue membership fees.

They preyed on the general lack of knowledge regarding cryptocurrency among the public to convince them to part with their money, with an older age group forming the majority of victims. Nam-ki explained that during the stakeout operations, police observed that most of the attendees at presentations were between 60 and 70 years of age.

Neighboring China last year arrested 98 people and recovered USD 266 million from the infamous OneCoin ponzi scheme.

 

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