Croatian police said on Wednesday that three people had been arrested on suspicion of overseeing a fraudulent, multi-million euro cryptocurrency scheme that had affected hundreds of people in the Balkan country.
The trio, who had run a firm that facilitated the trading of cryptocurrencies, were accused of “misleading a large number of their company’s clients/investors by false representation and concealing facts,” according to a police statement.
The three men are suspected of defrauding 800 people of at least 18.5 million euros ($19.5 million). Up to 250 criminal charges have been filed.
The company was not registered for trading cryptocurrencies. Police did not reveal the names of the company or the identities of the suspects.
In May, Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujcic warned investors to be cautious as the institution does not regulate the cryptocurrency market. The Balkans have become an attractive destination for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.
In March, Montenegro authorities arrested fugitive crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon at the airport in Podgorica when he was carrying fake travel documents.
The digital currency industry has also been hard hit by the collapse of US crypto-lenders such as Silvergate and Signature after a series of failures by banks that shook global markets earlier this year.