Tether freezes $225m worth of stolen USDT linked to human trafficking

Asian Tech Press (Nov 21) -- Crypto firm Tether has voluntarily frozen $225 million in stolen USDT linked to a human trafficking group in Southeast Asia.

The tokens in external self-custodied wallets, are "linked to an international human trafficking syndicate in Southeast Asia responsible for a global 'pig butchering' romance scam," Tether said in a statement.

Notably, this is the largest-ever freeze of USDT and follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, in which the cryptocurrency exchange OKX also participated, using tools from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.

"During a months-long investigative effort by Tether and OKX, U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the DOJ, were proactively alerted to the location of the illicit funds by analyzing the flow of those funds through the blockchain," Tether said.

It added, "The frozen wallets are on the secondary market and are not associated with Tether's customers."

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