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Egypt arrests dozens over alleged online crypto scam


Egyptian authorities say they have arrested 29 people accused of running an online cryptocurrency scheme.

Egyptian authorities have arrested 29 people, including 13 foreign citizens, accused of running an online cryptocurrency scam that defrauded thousands of investors, state media reported.

The network pocketed about $620,000 at the cost of casualties in the country now beset by an economic crisis and rapid inflation, a report said on Sunday.

The online platform “HoggPool,” which appeared in August according to local media, promised customers “financial benefits after fraudulently luring them,” according to a statement released by the prosecution late Saturday.

The scheme promised large profits from cryptocurrency mining and trading, for fees charged at an attractive exchange rate.

It is illegal to tamper with crypto in Egypt – the act is punishable by imprisonment and a fine of up to $325,000.

HoggPool abruptly ceased operations in February and disappeared with the money, the state-run daily Al-Ahram reported.

Authorities said the network was planning to launch a new platform called “Riot” when they were arrested.

The interior ministry said 16 Egyptians and “13 foreigners of the same country”, who were not identified, had been arrested. Officials also seized 95 mobile phones, 3,367 SIM cards and 41 foreign bank cards.

Egypt is going through one of the worst economic crises ever.

Since March 2022, the Egyptian pound has lost nearly half its value against the US dollar. An acute dollar shortage has suppressed imports and created a backlog in ports, with a knock-on effect on local industry.

Inflation rose to 25.8 percent in January, the highest level in five years, according to official data. Prices for many basic foodstuffs have risen much faster.

Official data classified about 30 percent of the population as poor before COVID-19 hit, and analysts say the number has risen since then. Nearly 60 percent of Egypt’s 104 million people are estimated to live below or close to the poverty line.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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