Investors in Taipei yesterday accused Chinese-Malaysian businessman Ronald Aai, operator of the cryptocurrency wallet Cloud Token, of defrauding 1,000 Taiwanese out of NT$900 million (US$30.32 million) in an alleged financial scam.
At a media briefing yesterday, Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Ann Kao (高虹安) called for a judicial investigation into Cloud Token, saying that law enforcement authorities should arrest Aai if he is in Taiwan and detain any Taiwanese accomplices.
Kao, a former vice president at Hon Hai Technology Group’s Industrial Big Data Office, said that Aai came to Taiwan last year to conduct promotional seminars and recruit people to invest in Cloud Token, which he said was a “4.0 blockchain” wallet that could integrate all of the popular cryptocurrency assets.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
“Things like ‘blockchain’ and ‘Cloud Token’ sound like new ideas, but people looking to invest in them must really get to know how they work. It is not true that the purpose of AI [artificial intelligence] technology is to grow their investments,” Kao said.
One investor, who gave her name as Emily, said Aai promised that Cloud Token transactions were completely traceable, that 4.0 blockchain allowed people to deposit or withdraw funds at any time, and that cryptocurrency trading was very profitable.
Emily attended one of Aai’s seminars in July last year and, putting money into the scheme, received a Cloud Token SIM card, purportedly linked to her MasterCard account, for transactions.
She said that she initially earned a return of about 33 percent on her investment and that, by trading cryptocurrencies on Cloud Token, she earned vouchers for international travel packages, hotel accommodations and goods at department stores, which persuaded her to increase her investment up to NT$1 million, and to encourage friends and family to sign up.
“However, starting in October last year, Cloud Token was no longer handing out bonuses, or vacation and hotel vouchers, and its employees in Taiwan were telling us to be patient, that there were delays because of the protests in Hong Kong and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Emily said.
“Then, early this year, Cloud Token suddenly stopped running any transactions and we could not access it — we realized it was a scam,” she added.
According to information from Bitcoin.com, Cloud Token was a multilevel marketing scheme, or Ponzi scheme, that touted its blockchain technology and online wallet for cryptocurrency trading to allegedly defraud investors.
Chinese authorities have over the past few months arrested 72 people in connection with the Cloud Token operation, whose operators are likely related to Plustoken, a similar Ponzi scheme, the Web site reported.
“Just like Plustoken, CTO [Cloud Token] promised 6-12 percent interest every month, as the project was initially founded by the project’s lead developer Ronald Aai and project manager Daniel Csokas from Singapore, and nearly every article describing the Cloud Token project shows that the scam was tightly connected to the Plustoken creators, then in June a report highlighted that the Cloud Token project had issues in Singapore so the MLM crypto scheme’s founders decided to relocate,” it added.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn