The Spanish Civil Guard, within the framework of the “BITDROP” operation, has arrested in Valencia one of the biggest scammers with false investments in cryptocurrencies at the European level. This is a 45-year-old man, of Portuguese nationality, who is charged with 7 crimes of fraud and money laundering.
The operation began last August, after the agents learned of the events through collaboration with private security.
The detainee had created an alleged cryptocurrency investment platform on a website, which was made known through various forums, radio programs, sporting events and even charity movements, in order to attract the attention and investment of numerous people in Spain and Portugal.
The platform offered a minimum return of 2.5% per week to investors depending on the amount they contributed, eventually acquiring roles and thus being able to attract other investors.
The “ponzi scheme” method
This method is known as a “ponzi scheme.” It is a type of scam that tries to mislead the injured parties, who believe that the profits obtained come from a legal activity, although the funds come from other deceived investors.
In this way, the investment in cryptocurrencies was a success, so the victims invested greater amounts of money and attracted more investors. The investments made by the victims were used by the detainee to lead a high standard of living by buying high-end vehicles, trips or even meals.
As a result of the agents’ investigations, it was possible to identify several injured parties in Spain. Furthermore, it was discovered that the detainee had succeeded in committing a crime in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Portugal.
Finally, on December 2, 3 entries and searches were carried out: at the home of the detainee, at the company’s headquarters and a workshop where part of the assets were hidden.
In addition, several bank accounts and the web pages for accessing the platform and the pages where it was advertised have been blocked. Also, various documents as well as electronic devices were seized: computers, tablets, mobile phones and USB’s cryptocurrency wallets.
Likewise, 13 vehicles have been blocked and another 7 intervened, all of them high-end.
The total of the blocked assets, between vehicles and bank accounts, amounts to more than two and a half million euros.
The proceedings ordered have been delivered to the Examining Court No. 3 of Valencia.
The operation has been carried out by agents of the Technological Investigations Team (EDITE) and the Economic Crimes Team of the UOPJ of the Valencia Civil Guard Command, who have had the collaboration of EUROPOL.