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NZ police investigate cryptocurrrency scheme after funds disappeared

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 2:44pm
(Photo / 123RF)
(Photo / 123RF)

NZ police investigate cryptocurrrency scheme after funds disappeared

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 2:44pm

By RNZ 

A company operating with "falsified" New Zealand registration details has been investigated after multiple reports of people falling victim to a cryptocurrency investment scam. 

The Auckland City Financial Crime Unit has been assessing reports involving Quwiex Limited, which was promising victims high daily returns through their platform. 

Quwiex Limited was registered in New Zealand in September 2021 through information police said was found to be falsified. 

People who invested initially received interest and were able to withdraw funds, Detective Sergeant James Robson said. 

In mid-April the scheme suspended withdrawals citing a website upgrade, he said. 

"However, the website was deactivated on the date the upgrade was supposed to be complete." Investors' funds had disappeared. 

Police made enquiries into the supposed director of this company, including a supplied New Zealand address. "Unfortunately, the identity documents are fake and there is no connection to the address supplied," Robson said. 

"No actual links to New Zealand have been able to be identified, which means those involved in this scam are based offshore." 

Robson said the victims had unwittingly become involved in a scheme that bore all the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme. 

"Unfortunately, as the people behind these scammers are based offshore the likelihood of recovering their losses are quite low." 

Police advised victims not to engage with companies or people offering the prospect of recovering their funds. 

"In our experience these services, which requires victims to pay, have not achieved any positive results." 

For advice on avoiding online investment scams and what to do if you fall victim to one, see the Finance Markets Authority (FMA) website. 

The FMA put out a warning about the company in April.