The CEO of Vietnam-based mining platform Sky Mining has allegedly disappeared with over $35 million in company and investor funds, claiming that medical issues have required him to temporarily leave the country.
Vietnamese news media first reported the abrupt disappearance of Sky Mining CEO Le Minh Tam on July 29, 2018. Tam, who was out of contact with investors and board members for several days, allegedly absconded with the entirety of Sky Mining company funds and investor capital.
Mining Operation Cleaned Out
The Sky Mining main office, based in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh, was purportedly cleaned out under the direction of the Tam. Investors seeking answers found the office closed and company branding removed, with 600 mining machines owned by the company located in a neighboring district removed by “maintenance workers.”
Sky Mining Deputy Chairman Le Minh Hieu formed a temporary board in order to support investors and attempt to reclaim the lost assets, stating in an interview with VNExpress that he suspects Tam fled to the United States.
“[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty. We are victims too”
The Sky Mining platform, which claims to be the largest cryptocurrency mining operation in Vietnam, offers cloud-based mining services that range in price from $100 to $5,000 USD monthly. Sky Mining promised investors guaranteed returns on investment of up to 300% dependent on initial investment.
In order to capture investor capital, Sky Mining ran a series of events in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, claiming to have acquired over 7,000 mining rigs. Investor response to the sudden loss of capital and the disappearance of Tam has resulted in a flood of anger toward Deputy Chairman Le Minh Hieu and board members.
Sky Mining CEO Claims Mysterious Illness
Sky Mining CEO Le Minh Tam allegedly published a notice on a Sky Mining investor Facebook group on July 25, stating that the unpredictable nature of the market and a sudden drop in mining rig value catalyzed a dramatic loss in profitability and that the Sky Mining company would reimburse investors for lost capital. Tam also stated:
“My last resort is to stay hidden from [the] public to protect my life”
An additional update published by Tam in the Sky Mining Telegram chat on July 29, however, provided conflicting information to Sky Mining investors. In a 44-second video, Tam stated that he is currently undergoing emergency medical treatment and will return to Vietnam next week.
“I will contact you as soon as possible so that all workshops will be financially viable and affordable. The machines will run again and you will have money, thank you for your cooperation. I am not running or leaving, I will come back soon.”
The acting operator of the Sky Mining operation in Ho Chi Minh, however, has not yet received any contact from Tam.
“I watched the video uploaded by Mr. Tam, but I have not actually contacted him, and I have not contacted Deputy General Director Le Minh Hieu yet.”
Despite Tam’s claims, it’s unlikely that the Sky Mining operation will continue to operate given the history of cryptocurrency scams in Ho Chi Minh — investors lost over $650 million USD in the recent HCM-based Modern Tech ICO exit scam.
Cover Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash