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Brazilian Police Seize $28M in Crypto-Ponzi Scheme

Brazilian Federal Police have successfully completed one of the largest seizures of digital currency in the nation. 

According to a report from CNN Brazil, the Federal Police broke up a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme and seized nearly $30 million in digital funds. In what the police called “Operation Kryptos,” an investigation of a pyramid scheme was carried out by the Lakes Region of Rio Federal Police. The confiscated funds will immediately be liquidated and made available to the courts. 

Operation Krypto saw officials carry out 15 search and seizure warrants, which were carried out on August 24. On top of the seized cryptocurrency, 21 luxury vehicles were also confiscated, along with a collection of watches and jewelry. Foreign currency in excess of $3 million and various documents were also collected by the Federal Police. 

The warrants also led to five arrests, including the owner of a Bitcoin consultancy company in Cabo Frio, Glaidson Acácio. Acácio was arrested in his mansion in Barra da Tijuca according to police. Investigators say that Acácio is suspected of transferring billions of dollars via the pyramid scheme, which promised returns up to 15% of investments. Acácio’s defense said that they were privy to the arrest and have yet to review the specifics of the investigation, “Glaidson Acácio’s defense is aware of the arrest and so far without access to the contents of the investigations. Only after proper analysis of all documentation will we be able to express ourselves in a concrete manner. “

CNN added that Gladison is already scheduled for a custody hearing on Thursday. Arrests outside of Rio included one in Cabo Frio and two at the Guarulhos Airport, in São Paulo.

Brazil taking a stand against cryptocurrency crime

Brazil has been very busy regulating, investigating, and punishing cryptocurrency crimes in recent months. Earlier in August, a separate operation named “Compliance” involved more than 150 Federal Police officers serving more than 30 search and seizure warrants. 

It was the culmination of a three-year investigation and also blocked more than 30 bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets by the Federal Court. Operation Compliance was preceded by another massive seizure of around $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. The arrests were made after investigators uncovered that 17 fictitious companies were created to buy Bitcoin and funnel it into offshore accounts.

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