“Bitcoin Sheikh” is arrested in Brazil for allegedly scamming victims out of $766M

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Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Bitfinsider

Yesterday morning, one hundred law enforcement officers working in three of Brazil’s federal states conducted raids at twenty locations that were connected to a network of crypto fraud operated by Francisco Valdevino da Silva, also known as “Sheikh dos Bitcoins.”

According to the authorities, the members of De Silva’s organization are suspected of having cheated “thousands” of Brazilians and nationals of at least ten other countries out of a total of up to 4 billion Brazilian reals (about $766 million) and of having laundered the money.

The victims were told they would receive monthly profits on their investments of up to 20%. The victims were duped by Da Silva and his henchmen, who said to have a big staff of skilled cryptocurrency traders dedicated to earning a profit on their trades.

It was stated that the gang even developed and sold their own own cryptocurrency, despite the fact that investigations revealed those assets to have neither support nor liquidity.

Sasha Meneghel, daughter of Brazilian television star Xuxa, is said to have lost 1.2 million reals (approximately $230,000) as a result of da Silva’s scheme, along with several unnamed soccer players, according to a report by a domestic news source named g1. This report also stated that several other local celebrities were also victims of da Silva’s fraud.

The federal police have given the raids the codename “Operation Poyais” in honor of Gregor MacGregor, a Scottish deception trickster who worked throughout the eighteenth century and sold bonds and deeds on behalf of the made-up nation of “Poyais.”

After the United States Department of Homeland Security made a request for international police cooperation in March of this year through the worldwide police network Interpol, the international investigation got underway at that time.

There is evidence that members of Da Silva’s family were involved in the theft in some capacity, either as workers of the fake companies or as receivers of the loot.


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