This is the culmination of a major international survey, piloted since…
This is the culmination of a major international investigation, piloted from Bordeaux by the Specialized Interregional Jurisdiction (Jirs), aimed at dismantling a scam network for fake cryptocurrency investments via online platforms.
Several times postponed due to the Covid health crisis, the operation was launched “as part of the execution of requests for mutual criminal assistance addressed to the State of Israel by the prosecution of the Jirs de Bordeaux” specifies Frédérique Porterie, public prosecutor of Bordeaux, in a press release.
Started from a complaint from a Landais
“The facts concerned fraudulent investments on pseudo-investment platforms in crypto-assets, including generalcrypto.net, Boursebitcoin.com, lacentraledescryptomoines.com and ether-invest.com” specifies the magistrate, who also mentions “a site infringing a civil asset management company (SCGP)”.
Between 2018 and 2019, more than 500 French victims thus “transferred a total of 12 million euros to accounts opened in Europe, mainly in Portugal, before the breakdown of funds in Asia and Turkey”.
Most of the identified victims live in New Aquitaine according to Sud Ouest.
According to our colleagues, the investigation would also have started in 2018 from the complaint of a Landes craftsman, installed in Gironde, who would have swallowed up all his heritage in the purchase of bitcoins.
At first, the investment would have paid off, which would have encouraged him to continue until he sold his house. The amount of his losses would amount to 700,000 euros, reports Sud Ouest.
Laundering “by purchasing gold”
The prosecutor’s office of the Jirs de Bordeaux has issued several requests for mutual assistance to Portugal, Turkey and Israel “in order to identify the accomplices in charge of money laundering”.
The investigation thus made it possible to highlight “an unprecedented mechanism of compensation by buying gold in Turkey for the benefit of a jeweler established in Jerusalem, from the funds extracted from the victims” continues Frédérique Porterie.
The Pau SR investigators then succeeded in identifying the people responsible for providing fake websites.
A magistrate of the Jirs de Bordeaux assisted by two police officers from the territorial direction of the PJ of Bordeaux, two investigators from the Central Office for the repression of serious financial crime (OCRGDF) and a gendarme from the SR of Pau went in Israel “to assist in the execution of the acts of investigation requested”.
“Thugs” more “out of reach”
The searches led to the seizure of the equivalent of 30,000 euros in cash, “invoices related to the nature of the charges” and “digital media and mobile phones”.
The hearings were conducted by the Israeli investigators in the presence of the magistrate and the French investigators, specifies the prosecutor of Bordeaux who adds that the elements collected will make it possible to initiate proceedings in France.
Frédérique Porterie welcomes this operation which “testifies to the reinforced judicial and police cooperation between the French and Israeli authorities”.
“It also means that criminals acting from abroad to the detriment of French victims are not beyond the reach of legal action”.