By Tamsin Brown • 11 April 2022 • 18:46
How Spaniards and other Europeans have been using Cryptocurrencies. Image: Nenad Stojkovic, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Thousands of young people attended a cryptocurrency convention in Badalona (Barcelona) held by a company being investigated for fraud.
Over the weekend of April 8 to 10, thousands of young people from all over Europe attended a convention organised by the company IM Mastery Academy in Badalona (Barcelona). The company is currently being investigated for fraudulent activity involving promoting investments in cryptocurrencies to underage teenagers, which led to calls from both the City Council and neighbourhood associations for the event to be cancelled.
The company, which has been linked to a pyramid scheme and recruitment methods similar to those used by a sect, brought together some 9,000 people from countries all over Europe at the Badalona Municipal Sports Centre, despite the controversy that the event sparked.
In March, the Economic Crime Unit of the National Police arrested eight leaders of the organisation in Spain due to accusations of committing fraud against thousands of young people through virtual courses on cryptocurrencies and high-risk financial transactions.
A few days before the event, the Badalona City Council called for it to be cancelled and asked the Club Joventut Badalona (la Penya) to cancel the rental of the Palacio de Deportes that had been made by the organisers of the convention. The Club Joventut Badalona, however, argued that it could not cancel the event, as it “limited itself to renting the venue under the conditions agreed with the promoter”.
The young people taking part in the event, who had to pay 200 euros to attend, claimed that they went voluntarily and deny accusations that it is a sectarian organisation. “Nobody has asked me to stop seeing anyone or to separate from my parents. On the contrary, I have improved my relationship with many people, although it is true that this is not quick and easy and requires time and dedication,” one of the young participants told TV3.
“We want an investigation to be opened to clarify which company is dedicated to finding these contacts to bring them here to Badalona,” Rubén García, from the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Badalona, told TV3.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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