To seek 20 addresses of members of this gang accused of “deceiving thousands of individuals in Brazil” and at least ten other nations, 100 agents were dispatched to three Brazilian states.
Gold bars, pricey watches, and enormous sums of cash were taken by Brazilian police on Thursday (October 6) following searches on a network said to have amassed 780 million euros in a cryptocurrency fraud. The Federal Police (PF) stated in a news statement that some 100 agents were deployed in three Brazilian states to search 20 locations of members of this gang accused of “deceiving thousands of individuals in Brazil” as well as in at least 10 other nations, including the United States.
Police declined to release the identities of the suspects, but the Brazilian press confirms that Francisley Valdevino da Silva, also known as the “Sheikh of bitcoins,” is the network’s boss. A judge in Curitiba (south) approved the searches as part of an investigation into, among other things, accusations of international fraud and money laundering.
The daughter of Brazilian television personality Xuxa, Sasha Meneghel, reportedly trusted them with 1.2 million reais, and numerous football players have allegedly been cheated, according to the G1 news website (about 240,000 euros). According to the PF, the primary suspect “organized a criminal enterprise with numerous members of his family to take the amounts invested, in real or virtual currency, by the victims.” Based on evidence sent by American authorities via Interpol, the investigation into a network of “laundering of millions (of dollars) through a system of pyramid investments in cryptocurrencies” started in Brazil in March.
This is how the Ponzi pyramid works: the initial investors, who were promised spectacular returns, receive payment from the proceeds of the subsequent investors. The victims desired “monthly compensation of up to 20% of the invested amount.” According to the authorities, the sum the suspected thieves amassed in Brazil alone over the course of six years “may approach approximately four billion reais (about 780 euros)”.
These astronomical sums “were utilized to purchase real estate, jewelry, vehicles, yachts, and expensive apparel” rather than investing in the bitcoin market. Photos from the police reveal the discovery of gold bars, Rolex watches, wine bottles, and reais and USD currencies. The searches on Thursday were called “Operation Poyais,” a reference to a well-known English swindle from the 19th century. In Poyais, a fictitious locale he claimed was situated in a British colony in the Caribbean, a Scottish commander by the name of Gregor MacGregor had sold false property titles.