Blockchain Analytics Firm Elliptic Links Cambodian Marketplace Huione Guarantee to Criminal Activities

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Crypto wallets tied to Huione and its independent merchants have reportedly received no less than $11 billion.

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic has slammed Cambodian-based multi-billion dollar marketplace Huione Guarantee with some serious allegations. The firm put out the claims in a detailed report released on Wednesday, where it says that Huione may have been involved in money laundering and other criminal activities.

Elliptic Uncovers Billions in Potentially Illicit Transactions on Huione Guarantee

The report suggests that since its inception in 2021, crypto wallets tied to Huione and its independent merchants have received no less than $11 billion. This figure, according to Elliptic, is being generously prudent with the estimate.

The firm admitted that Huione may not have exclusively dealt in illegal activities. However, the report noted that the nature of the majority of Huione Guarantee’s operations raised red flags that can not be overlooked. This means that the bulk of the $11 billion in transactions is likely connected to fraudulent activities and other crimes.

Furthermore, the report highlights that the platform has a preference for Tether’s USDT stablecoin as a payment method. However, it also supports payment apps and traditional bank transfers.

The allegations do not end here. Elliptic also attempted to establish a link between Huione executives and Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Manet. According to the firm, this suggests that the platform might have strong political backing.

Oversight Issues May Have Caused Marketplace to Evolve into Criminal Hub

According to Elliptic, Huione Guarantee has somehow turned into a hub for criminal activities. Despite the company’s claims of not prying into the specifics of its merchants’ businesses, the report indicates that merchants operate with relative impunity. They use  instant messaging app channels to conduct their operations. This lack of oversight has allegedly enabled a range of criminal activities, including money laundering, “sexploitation” schemes, and the distribution of malicious software.

The report includes screenshots of conversations between merchants and clients discussing the laundering of proceeds from “pig butchering” scams. It also highlights advertisements for electric shock collars used in forced labour practices in “scam compounds” in Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. These compounds, which rely on forced labour, are reportedly spreading rapidly across Asia.

Elliptic’s report has once again proven the importance of blockchain technology in the detection of crime. That is, as opposed to censorship-resistant networks, which somehow encourage global crime.

As may have been observed, the transparency of blockchain allows investigators to detect and disrupt illicit activities. In this light, Elliptic claims to have identified and labelled hundreds of cryptocurrency addresses controlled by Huione-related entities.

Bitter-Sweet Nature of Cryptocurrency

Notably, platforms like Huione may have initially set out to offer innovative financial solutions. However, they can also become breeding grounds for crimes if left unchecked. Elliptic’s findings call for greater scrutiny and collaboration among global regulatory bodies to ensure that the promise of blockchain technology is not overshadowed by its potential for abuse.

Huione Guarantee is part of the larger Huione Group, which spans various sectors. The group does business in other areas including payments (through Huione Pay), insurance, airlines, and real estate across Southeast Asia.

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