A Vietnamese crypto-CEO has fled with over $35 million worth of investor funds in what appears to be yet another scam to hit Asia.
According to reports in the local Vnexpress, Le Minh Tam, CEO of cryptocurrency mining company Sky Mining – based in the capital city of Ho Chi Minh – disappeared last Monday along with the company's funds.
Worried investors who turned up at the company’s head office in Phu Nhuan District found the building shut, the nameplate removed and all 600 mining rigs at the company’s factory nearby had been taken away.
Publishing a note last Wednesday on Facebook, the CEO apologised for “everything,” claiming that due to the unpredictability of the market:
My last resort is to stay hidden from public to protect my life.
Telling investors that they should speak to the company to reclaim the lost funds – the CEO has allegedly simply absconded with the money himself, leaving only the empty office.
Attracting investors to its mining operation with promised profits of up to 300%, the company reportedly claimed to be the largest cryptocurrency mining company in Vietnam.
With board members themselves claiming “we are victims too” and setting up a 16-person temporary board to help investors, deputy chairman Le Minh Hien explained:
[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty.
This latest scam, however, seems to have been relatively small fry for Vietnam - with recent reports that a prominent IT firm - Modern Tech - allegedly duped 32,000 unsuspecting investors out of $647 million (15 trillion VND) via a cryptocurrency ponzi scheme in April.
With Vietnam’s Central Bank recently agreeing to suspend cryptocurrency miner imports in an attempt to “avoid harming local consumers,” this latest alleged fraud will likely deepen the authorities’ suspicion of the crypto-mining industry.