Detention in Spain
The Guardia Civil of Spain has arrested an alleged member of a dubious organization in Mallorca, accused of organizing an international scam involving investments in non-existent cryptocurrencies. The organization is alleged to have defrauded more than 100 million euros from more than 3,000 people around the world, with one hundred victims in Spain.
Operation Mandoa: What did the Spanish Civil Guard investigate?
On Monday, the Civil Guard announced that it was conducting Operation Mandoa in the Basque Country and the Balearic Islands. The organization under investigation allegedly transferred fraudulent money to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia and Israel. These countries were the final destinations of the illegally obtained funds.
The scheme of attracting investors: How the organization attracted potential customers
The investigation was launched after disgruntled residents of the province of Alava filed a complaint alleging that they were victims of a fraudulent scheme involving cryptocurrency investments. The complaint also stated that a company based in Palma had received investments that were then sent to countries outside the European Union.
A false sense of legitimacy: How a fraudulent organization created the appearance of legitimacy
The Civil Guard was able to confirm that members of the organization used aggressive marketing strategies to attract potential customers. These included placing advertisements on prominent websites and newspapers, making unsolicited phone calls and sending SMS messages.
Promises of high profits: What did the organization promise its potential customers?
Once victims agreed to invest between €250 and €1,000 in these fake cryptocurrencies, the organization would provide them with access to a website that displayed fake charts to create a false sense of legitimacy and inspire trust in victims. Investors received constant calls from the organization’s fraudulent brokers who informed victims of their fictitious profits and encouraged them to continue investing.
However, when investors tried to withdraw their investments or profits, the fraudulent brokers demanded more money under false pretenses such as taxes or annual balance sheets.