Crypto giant Tether has voluntarily frozen approximately 225 million USDT (Tether’s cryptocurrency) that was linked to an international human trafficking syndicate operating in Southeast Asia. The illicit funds were discovered through a joint investigation powered by blockchain analysis tools from Chainalysis. The investigation revealed that the funds were connected to a global “pig butchering” romance scam.
The United States Secret Service, following the findings of the investigation, requested Tether to freeze the identified wallets. Tether complied with the request according to the established procedure. It is important to note that the frozen wallets on the secondary market are not associated with Tether’s customers. Any lawful wallets captured during the operation will be promptly unfrozen in coordination with law enforcement.
This collaboration between Tether, Chainalysis, and law enforcement agencies highlights the cryptocurrency industry’s commitment to combatting criminal activities. The transparency of blockchain transactions has proven to be an effective deterrent against illicit activities, setting a significant precedent for the industry.
Tether’s CEO, Paolo Ardoino, emphasized the company’s dedication to safety within the crypto space and its aim to establish new standards. Jason Lau, Chief Innovation Officer of OKX, stressed their proactive approach to collaborating with industry stakeholders and law enforcement.