Tether, a stablecoin provider, has frozen over $225 million in USDT tokens, the largest-ever freeze for a stablecoin. This action comes after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a thorough investigation into an international human trafficking operation, revealing Tether’s commitment to working with law enforcement.
For months, the DOJ had been investigating a Southeast Asia-based syndicate using Chainalysis blockchain analysis tools.
Tether actively assisted the investigation by identifying wallets associated with the criminal group and freezing the USDT associated with the illegal activity.
The criminal operation was linked to the well-known “pig butchering” scam, which allegedly defrauded US citizens of $3.3 billion last year through intricate bogus investment schemes.
Victims were duped into investing in fraudulent platforms and then forced to transfer funds that were later stolen.
It’s worth noting that the frozen USDT was kept in self-held wallets rather than Tether customer accounts. Despite this, Tether acted quickly to disable the tokens after the DOJ confirmed illegal activity.
Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, highlighted the company’s dedication to regulatory transparency and law enforcement cooperation. Through active participation in investigations, Tether hopes to improve security across the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Although Tether has previously come under fire for mistakes made when issuing fresh USDT, the company maintains that it works with authorities to keep an eye on token flows and blacklist addresses linked to illegal activity.
This action demonstrates Tether’s commitment to resolving issues and guaranteeing the stablecoin’s responsible use.