By Chris Lang
On 15 December 2021, police in Lianyuan in Hunan province in China arrested eight people for a “Carbon Forest” cryptocurrency investment scam. According to the Loudi News Network the suspects admitted that they committed a fraud.
The police in Lianyuan received a report from a member of the public on 15 December 2021 about the fraud. The police acted on the same day, arresting eight people: Wu Mobo, Li Moping, Huang Moxin, Chen Molong, Tang Mo, Zhang Mo, He Mo, and Du Mo. The police seized 16 mobile phones and promotional material from the scammers.
“Carbon Forest” was a fabrication
According to the police investigation, Wu Mobo and others fabricated a “Carbon Forest” investment project using concepts such as “carbon neutrality”.
They designed a “decentralised exchange” outside of China. They created a fictitious cryptocurrency called “TCH”. (To confuse matters, there are two cryptocurrencies with the initials TCH: TigerCash and Thorecash.)
Wu Mobo and his team encouraged victims to invest in “TCH” cryptocurrency, which were supposed to be in turn invested in the “Carbon Forest” project. But there was no “Carbon Forest” project.
Victims bought the “TCH” virtual currency on the scammers’ platform using USDT coins. USDT, or Tether tokens, are the fifth largest cryptocurrency, with about US$78 billion worth of USDT coins in circulation.
The scammers used a multilevel marketing (MLM) scheme to encourage existing investors to recruit new investors into buying the “TCH” cryptocurrency. The scammers claimed that there would be a guaranteed profit.
The scam platform showed increasing values of the “TCH” tokens, but when investors tried to sell their “TCH” tokens they were unable to do so. One victim, called Ms. Wang, invested a total of 60,000 yuan (about US$10,000). When she tried to withdraw her investment, she found that her investment had disappeared, and all the money had been taken by the suspects.
I found only one report about this: the Loudi News Network, which is in Chinese. I used Google to translate it. Carbon Pulse included a brief overview of the story in their “Bite-sized updates from around the world” section on 22 December 2021.
I’m posting this on REDD-Monitor because the “cryptocarbon” world is booming, non-transparent, and difficult to understand. This post is part of an on-going series of posts featuring cryptocurrencies and carbon.
If anyone has any more information about any aspect of this “Carbon Forest” story, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks!