Vietnam is the scene of another major cryptocurrency fraud after a mining firm CEO reportedly absconds with investor and company funds.
According to VNExpress, Sky Mining CEO Le Minh Tam disappeared a week ago, appearing to organize a cleanout of company assets.
VNExpress notes that Sky Mining CEO Tam — although he has not been found in person — apologized for “everything” to investors in a Facebook post on Wednesday, explaining that the company’s profitability had fallen with the market’s volatility.
Tam told investors to go to the company office in order to regain their capital, after which he would declare bankruptcy. However, investors found that Sky Mining’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters building is closed and all of the signage has been removed, VNExpress writes.
The firm’s 600 miners housed in a separate facility in a neighboring district were also discovered to have been taken away by people “claiming to be maintenance workers.”
Le Minh Hieu, deputy chairman of Sky Mining, has already formed a “board” dedicated to assisting investors who lost money, as well as assessing the extent of the losses and remaining asset value.
Hieu noted that he was not able to give details about the company’s assets, as Tam was directly in charge of the mining rigs, but investors estimate the loss to be around $35 million, VNExpress reports.
Hieu told VNExpress that he believes Tam left for the U.S., adding,
“[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty. We are victims too.”
Of those affected, twenty investors have also filed a complaint with local police, the publication adds.
The debacle comes three months after the collapse of a major ponzi scheme engulfed Vietnamese consumers who invested in two pseudo-Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). A reported 32,000 people lost money after company officials absconded, allegedly stealing as much as $660 million.
Last week, authorities in Vietnam banned local companies from engaging in activities related to cryptocurrencies. Earlier in July, the country’s central bank also voiced support for a ban on imports associated with cryptocurrency mining.