Bitgin, a Taiwanese cryptocurrency exchange, finds itself under intense scrutiny as it faces allegations of money laundering, prompting an investigation by the country’s law enforcement agencies.
The unfolding saga centers around the arrest of Yuting Zhang, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, who has been detained by Taiwanese authorities due to his purported involvement in the “Eighty-Eight Guild Hall” money laundering incident.
Earlier, Zhemin Guo and Chengwen Tu, both local businessmen, were accused by the police of orchestrating a colossal money laundering operation worth billions of dollars.
Their scheme allegedly involved the utilization of foreign exchange offices and cryptocurrency exchange accounts to launder illicit proceeds obtained through wire fraud activities conducted overseas.
Furthermore, Tu stands accused of deceiving the country’s tax authorities by falsely claiming 300 million New Taiwan dollars (equivalent to $9.28 million) in fraudulent export tax refunds through the illicit overseas sale of video game credits.
A notable aspect of this incident is Taiwan’s lack of an official licensing framework for cryptocurrency exchanges.
In a bid for self-regulation and to engage with political officials, Bitgin and its industry peers established the Virtual Asset Service Provider Preparatory Office back in September.
Commenting on the situation, Yuling Tsai, the General Counsel of the Taiwan VASP Association, remarked, “This time, a member of the preparatory group was involved in the investigation case.
The preparatory group immediately held a meeting and issued a public response.
The members involved in the case also took the initiative to suspend participation in the work of the preparatory group.”
Bitgin has sought to reassure its users, stating that its operations remain unaffected, and user rights are safeguarded.
According to the exchange, Chief Operating Officer Zhang’s involvement in the Eighty-Eight Guild Hall money laundering incident transpired from late 2021 to March 2022.
The exchange claims that Zhang ceased all communications with the implicated parties after discovering allegations of money laundering.
The exchange has also pledged full cooperation with the investigative authorities, offering all necessary assistance to ensure a smooth and expeditious investigation.
Bitgin expresses a hope that the facts surrounding the case can be clarified promptly, indicating its commitment to resolving the matter transparently.