A sophisticated network of counterfeit cryptocurrency investment platforms has been dismantled in a coordinated effort by law enforcement agencies.
In October, police agents from the National Police and the Geneva Canton Police raided the Estepona residence of the network’s ringleader.
This operation resulted in the seizure of 21 vehicles and a yacht, a testament to the lavish lifestyle funded by the scam.
This international investigation was sparked by a request from the Swiss police in August. They sought assistance tracking down the properties of the individual responsible for creating several fake online cryptocurrency investment platforms.
These platforms ensnared over 150 victims, primarily in Switzerland but also in other countries, amassing millions of euros in illegal profits.
The scam’s mastermind, living in Estepona with his partner, was arrested while on a trip to Switzerland.
Responding to the collaboration request, Spanish authorities identified and seized numerous properties in Spain believed to have been purchased with the proceeds of the crime.
The raid in Estepona was a significant move, confiscating 21 luxury vehicles and a yacht.
Investigators uncovered that these fraudulent platforms employed aggressive online marketing techniques. They even misused the images of celebrities, falsely claiming these individuals had earned significant profits through the platform.
Initially, the platforms lured victims with the promise of quick, high returns. Then, a so-called broker would gain the victim’s trust, encouraging them to invest as much as possible. Fake web pages were created to show falsified financial progress.
However, when victims attempted to withdraw their investments, they lost contact with the broker or were fed excuses to extort more money.
In the scam’s final phase, the victims were approached by a fake law firm, falsely promising to recover their investments plus interest, only to defraud them even further.