Europe’s most wanted crypto-fraudster detained


Europol and the Spanish police conducted a joint operation to arrest a crypto-fraudster, which has already called “one of the largest in Europe. Money obtained by fraud, he spent on luxurious life, including luxury cars and holidays at expensive resorts.

According to El Pais, the 45-year-old Portuguese was detained on January 1 in Valencia. During the search in his garage they found 13 supercars, and the total amount of seized assets, including computers, tablets, cell phones and “cold” cryptocurrencies, exceeded 2.5 million euros.

The Bitdrop operation to catch the criminal lasted about six months. The offender in August 2020 was found by a private detective agency District 46, which was approached by a depositor who doubted that he would be able to get back his 150 thousand euros.

“We investigated and, after gathering a lot of information, we concluded that it all looked like a scam. After informing our client of this, we submitted our report to the Civil Guard,” said District 46 director and criminologist Juan de Dios Vargas.

Crypto-fraudster offered his victims to buy Bitcoin

According to Confilegal, the detainee’s name is Vitor Manuel Batista Fajardo. In February 2020, he created DXR 3200 Investments Spain, through which he offered victims to buy bitcoin. The company and its website have now been discontinued.

The man orchestrated a classic Ponzi scheme. The scam affected mostly citizens of Portugal, Spain, but also managed to identify victims from Luxembourg and Switzerland.

The perpetrator acted quite openly through an online platform for crypto-investments. His fraudulent website was advertised at sporting events, in radio shows, and even by charities.

Victims were attracted with promises of weekly profits of 2.5 percent. The profits were based on the contributions of new deceived depositors.

At the same time the swindler himself lived a luxurious life, buying expensive cars and vacationing in elite resorts. Now he was charged with seven counts of fraud and money laundering, but whether he was placed in custody is not clear.

Over the last decade, such scams have become the most profitable type of fraud in the crypto-sector. Since 2011, $7.12 billion have been stolen in this way.

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Arsen Islamov
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