The investigation targets fraudulent investments on pseudo-investment platforms in cryptocurrency, including generalcrypto.net, Boursebitcoin.com, lacentraledescryptomoines.com or even ether-invest.com.
In total, between 2018 and 2019, more than five hundred victims, most of them from our region, would have invested 12 million euros in fictitious accounts opened in Portugal, before the funds were then transferred to China and Turkey.
A builder from Biscarrosse
The case was born in 2018 following the complaint of a Landes mason based in Biscarrosse. This craftsman who lived in a campsite in Gironde explained to the PJ police officers that he had lost all his assets after investing in bitcoins.
Approached in 2017 by fake financial advisers and people posing as managers of large accounts, he first invested 30,000 euros which would have quickly brought him back. Empowered by this quick profit, he tracked his earnings on a fake online site. Over the months, he signed real fake contracts, until selling his house for a loss of 700,000 euros!
Criminals acting from abroad are not beyond the reach of French justice
The work of the PJ and the gendarmes of the SR of Pau, seized for acts committed by the same authors responsible for making available false Internet sites, required long investigations. Companies having benefited from the funds were first identified in Portugal, then the “launderers” and finally the principals in Israel.
These operations, carried out thanks to perfect judicial cooperation between the specialized interregional jurisdiction (JIRS) of Bordeaux and the Portuguese, Turkish and Israeli magistrates, made it possible to highlight an unprecedented mechanism of compensation by purchase of gold in Turkey for the benefit of a jeweler established in Jerusalem, from the money extracted from the victims.
30,000 euros seized
On Monday morning, police arrested the suspects in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eilat. The searches of homes led to the seizure of 30,000 euros in cash, invoices linked to the scam and mobile phones in order to extract the data. All should be indicted for fraud and money laundering in an organized gang.