By Matthew Roscoe • 23 November 2021 • 17:07
Alleged cryptocurrency con artist arrested on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Credit: Photo by Executium on Unsplash
AN alleged cryptocurrency fraudster, who the Guardia Civil described as “one of the biggest cryptocurrency con artists based in Spain” and had been on Interpol’s wanted list since 2015, has finally been arrested in Latvia.
The Latvian man, who is suspected of swindling his victims out of more than €500,000, apparently lived a life of luxury on the Costa del Sol, staying in exclusive hotels and villas, eating in expensive restaurants and buying designer clothes, a Guardia Civil statement read.
The man conned more than 1,000 people out of their money after getting his victims to invest in a new virtual currency known as “Hodlife, the Unicorn Token”. The victims were said to have been promised a share of the commissions charged on transactions using cryptocurrency.
The Guardia Civil said: “To spread the word about the project, the arrested man used the most common digital communication channels to stage aggressive publicity campaigns on Twitter, Telegram and on a bespoke webpage.
“He very quickly amassed a large community of users who, thanks to the messages sent from these platforms, were duped into depositing their cryptocurrencies in the new business.”
“Officers on the trail of the suspect uncovered the high-end lifestyle enjoyed by both him and his accomplices,” the statement said. “They lived in luxury villas that cost more than €1,000 a day to rent, they hired top-of-the-range cars, and they spent enormous sums of money in designer clothes shops and in the Costa del Sol’s finest restaurants.”
The Latvian man – who was first believed to be Lithuanian – and his accomplices used different internet connections alternating between villas and hotels in Malaga to transfer the stolen funds to their own crypto wallets.
The statement continued: “Once his identity had been established beyond doubt, the Guardia Civil activated all the relevant mechanisms of international police cooperation and picked up the fraudster’s trail through different countries as he hired cars and mansions and obtained credit cards and bank accounts with false documents.”
As investigators dug deeper into the Latvian suspects past it was revealed that the US had issued a search, arrest and extradition warrant for him back in 2015 – again for alleged fraud.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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