Tether Freezes 225M Stolen USDT Linked to Human Trafficking

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USDT issuer – Teth­er has con­duct­ed the largest-ever freeze in his­to­ry, black­list­ing $225 mil­lion linked to human trafficking.

While many con­sid­er cryp­to the most prefer­able mode of trans­ac­tion for crim­i­nals, proac­tive actions by cryp­to firms prove otherwise.

How Teth­er Col­lab­o­rat­ed With Oth­er Com­pa­nies to Freeze 225 Mil­lion USDT 

Teth­er announced that it has worked with the OKX cryp­to exchange and the Unit­ed States Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DoJ) to block a human traf­fick­ing syndicate’s access to the USDT sta­ble­coin

Teth­er took the help of the blockchain analy­sis firm – Chainal­y­sis to track the loca­tion of the funds. The joint inves­ti­ga­tion last­ed approx­i­mate­ly one month, and then the Unit­ed States Secret Ser­vice instruct­ed Teth­er to freeze the funds. 

Read more: How To Eval­u­ate Cryp­tocur­ren­cies with On-chain & Fun­da­men­tal Analy­sis.

The 225 mil­lion were linked to a South­east Asia human traf­fick­ing syn­di­cate that con­duct­ed “pig butcher­ing” scams. The screen­shot below shows that one of the crim­i­nals’ wal­lets had over 87.4 mil­lion USDT, which is now black­list­ed by Tether.

Token holdings of criminal
Token Hold­ing of One of the Crim­i­nals’ Wal­lets. Source: Ether­scan

The Unit­ed States Secret Ser­vice has also been try­ing to raise aware­ness about pig butcher­ing in Pennsylvania’s largest city – Philadelphia.

Pig butcher­ing is a crime where vic­tims’ mon­ey is stolen by promis­ing them expo­sure to cer­tain invest­ment schemes. Michael Cen­trel­la, Spe­cial Agent in Charge of the Philadel­phia Field Office, said, warn­ing about the crimes:

“We urge any­one who is invest­ing in cryp­tocur­ren­cy to be vig­i­lant and cau­tious, and to report any sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty to the Secret Ser­vice or local law enforcement.”

How Crypto Transaction Could Cause Trouble For Criminals

Teth­er said: 

“The trans­paren­cy of blockchain trans­ac­tions serves as a pow­er­ful deter­rent to illic­it activ­i­ties, set­ting a sig­nif­i­cant prece­dent for the industry.”

Indeed, the firms’ efforts indi­cate that it’s com­plete­ly pos­si­ble to track illic­it trans­ac­tions through cryp­to due to the trace­abil­i­ty of blockchain tech­nol­o­gy. In fact, Teth­er has con­duct­ed var­i­ous such freezes in the past.

In Jan­u­ary 2022, it black­list­ed three address­es, effec­tive­ly freez­ing around $150 mil­lion worth of USDT. In Octo­ber, BeIn­Cryp­to report­ed that Teth­er col­lab­o­rat­ed with Israel’s Nation­al Bureau for Counter-Ter­ror Financ­ing (NBCTF) and blocked 32 wal­let address­es, hold­ing approx­i­mate­ly $873,118.
In Sep­tem­ber, the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Europol, Cather­ine De Bolle, said that crim­i­nals are reluc­tant to use cryp­to due to law enforcement’s recent suc­cess­ful seizures of illic­it cryp­to. She spec­i­fied that cryp­to is less than 1% of the criminal’s total trans­ac­tion volume.

Read more: 8 Best Cryp­to Wal­lets to Store Teth­er (USDT)

Do you have any­thing to say about the Teth­er USDT or any­thing else? Write to us or join the dis­cus­sion on our Telegram chan­nel. You can also catch us on Tik­Tok, Face­book, or X (Twit­ter).

For BeInCrypto’s lat­est Bit­coin (BTC) analy­sis, click here.


In adher­ence to the Trust Project guide­lines, BeIn­Cryp­to is com­mit­ted to unbi­ased, trans­par­ent report­ing. This news arti­cle aims to pro­vide accu­rate, time­ly infor­ma­tion. How­ev­er, read­ers are advised to ver­i­fy facts inde­pen­dent­ly and con­sult with a pro­fes­sion­al before mak­ing any deci­sions based on this content.

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