- Major Freeze: Tether has frozen $225 million in stablecoins linked to a Southeast Asian human trafficking syndicate under DOJ investigation.
- Significant Impact: This action, aided by Chainalysis’ blockchain analysis, is the largest stablecoin freeze ever, targeting funds from the “pig butchering” scam that cost US citizens $3.3 billion last year.
Tether’s Bold Move Against Human Trafficking Syndicate
In a landmark decision, Tether, the issuer of a major stablecoin, has immobilized $225 million worth of its stablecoins. This decisive move is part of an extensive investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) into a widespread human trafficking network operating out of Southeast Asia.
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) November 20, 2023
Investigation Unravels a Major Scam
The DOJ’s months-long investigation, leveraging advanced blockchain analysis tools from Chainalysis, has shed light on the notorious “pig butchering” scam. This elaborate scheme, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has inflicted a staggering $3.3 billion loss on U.S. citizens in the past year.
Impactful Action Beyond Customer Reach
Crucially, the frozen assets were held in self-custodied wallets, ensuring that Tether’s regular customers remain unaffected by this freeze. This strategic action underscores Tether’s commitment to enforcing law and order within the digital currency space.
Tether’s CEO Comments on the Move
Paolo Ardoino, the CEO of Tether, emphasized the company’s proactive stance in collaborating with global law enforcement and its unwavering dedication to transparency. He highlighted that this initiative is part of Tether‘s broader goal to establish unprecedented safety standards in the cryptocurrency realm.
Tether’s Continued Efforts in Security and Compliance
This is not Tether’s first foray into proactive security measures. Just last month, Tether froze 32 cryptocurrency addresses linked to terrorism and warfare activities in Ukraine and Israel. These actions reflect Tether’s resolve in combating illegal activities and contributing to global security efforts.