Tether and OKX freeze $225 million linked to human trafficking

© Reuters.

As part of a major crackdown on illicit activities, cryptocurrency exchange OKX, in collaboration with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), managed to immobilize 225 million US dollars linked to a network of human trafficking in Southeast Asia. This operation targeted a “pig butchering” scam, where victims from around the world were lured through false romantic attempts to obtain financial assets.

The funds were frozen following meticulous analysis of the blockchain and the use of Chainalysis identification tools, which helped identify wallets associated with the criminal network. Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino highlighted the company’s commitment to ensuring the security and integrity of its operations. He highlighted Tether’s continued efforts to maintain transparency and security within the crypto ecosystem.

OKX also highlighted its commitment to promoting the public good by strengthening critical partnerships with law enforcement agencies to combat financial crimes. This recent action continues collaborative efforts already underway in the cryptocurrency industry to disrupt illegal operations. Previous examples include Tether freezing 873,000 USDT suspected of being linked to terrorist financing and Binance imposing account restrictions in response to requests from authorities.

These interventions by stablecoin issuers such as Tether highlight their unique ability to intervene in transactions, a dynamic that sets them apart from decentralized cryptocurrencies such as (BTC), where control is exclusively in the hands of individuals holding private keys. The ability to freeze funds reflects the nuanced balance between regulatory oversight and operational autonomy within the digital asset space.

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