Brazilian federal police have successfully completed one of the largest seizures of digital currency in the country.
According to a report
, federal police busted a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme and seized nearly $30 million in digital funds. In what police have dubbed “Operation Cryptos,” the financial pyramid investigation was conducted by the Rio Lakes Region Federal Police. The confiscated funds will be immediately liquidated and made available to the courts.
Officers conducted 15 search and seizure warrants as part of Operation Crypto on August 24. In addition to the confiscated cryptocurrency, 21 luxury cars were seized, as well as a collection of watches and jewelry. Federal police also collected foreign currency amounting to over $3 million and various documents.
Warrants also led to five arrests, including the owner of a bitcoin
consulting firm in Cabo Frio, Glaidson Acácio. Police say they arrested Acácio at his residence in Barra da Tijuca. Investigators say Acácio is suspected of transferring billions of dollars through a pyramid scheme that promised returns of up to 15 percent on investments. Acácio’s defense said they are aware of the arrest and have not yet reviewed the details of the investigation:
Glaidson Acácio’s defense is aware of the arrest and as yet has no access to the contents of the investigation. Only after a proper analysis of all the documentation will we be able to comment in a concrete way.
CNN added that Gladison already has an arrest hearing scheduled for Thursday. Arrests outside Rio included one in Cabo Frio and two at Guarulhos airport, in São Paulo.
Brazil Takes Action Against Cryptocurrency Crimes
In recent months, Brazil has moved to strictly regulate, investigate and punish cryptocurrency crimes. In early August, a separate operation called “Compliance” involved more than 150 federal police officers who issued more than 30 search and seizure warrants.
This was the culmination of a three-year investigation, as well as the federal court blocking of more than 30 bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets. Operation Compliance was preceded by
another massive seizure of about $30 million in connection with a money laundering operation.
Six search warrants were executed and two arrests were made in the city of São Paulo. Investigators discovered that 17 fictitious companies had been created to purchase bitcoin and send it to offshore accounts. They then made the arrests.
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