Operation Kriptos, triggered by the Federal Police this Wednesday (25), resulted in the seizure of millions in Bitcoin by Gas Consultoria, a company accused of operating a large financial pyramid scheme in the Lagos Region, in Rio de Janeiro. Known among investors in the region, the company promised 10% fixed income per month. Without websites and social networks, the capture of new customers that usually support the financial pyramids in the market was done by leaders. The main person investigated is the former waiter Glaidson Acácio dos Santos, owner of Gas Consultoria and who was arrested by the Federal Police. During searches of his luxury residence in Rio de Janeiro, federal police found millions in cash, which were seized and are at the disposal of justice, including Real, Dollar, Euro and even gold bars.
R$ 150 million in Bitcoin were seized by the national treasury attorney in Gas Consultoria’s portfolios
In conversation with Livecoins, the attorney of the National Treasury, Ana Paula Bez Batti, who participated in the operation, narrated the seizure of bitcoins by Gas Consultoria. To participate in the action, the Federal Police and MPF signed a cooperation agreement with the specialist in investigation and recovery of virtual assets, culminating in this great apprehension. It is noteworthy that in 2018, the MPF and the National Treasury had already drawn up a roadmap for the investigation and seizure of cryptocurrencies. According to the prosecutor, 591 bitcoins were seized in the action, valued at R$ 150 million. These cryptocurrencies were in hardware wallets in the possession of the investigated and were seized. The amounts have already been transferred from these devices to others held by the Federal Public Ministry, but the process of custody of these coins is under judicial secrecy. The amount will be at the disposal of the federal court for any requests for refunds from clients that are processed in the Brazilian judiciary.
The process of apprehension of cryptocurrencies is carried out with recovery of private keys
The prosecutor said she could not inform if there is seizure of bitcoins also in brokers. Anyway, she participated remotely in the operation, where she helped in the seizure of Gas Consultoria’s 591 bitcoins. According to prosecutor Batti, the recovery process involves the search for private keys, and the state already creates portfolios before operations to receive these amounts. In this way, she helped in the backup and transfer of values. It is worth remembering that the attorney of the National Treasury Ana Paula Bez Batti has extensive knowledge of such operations. She has participated in other Bitcoin busts in the past, such as Operations “CryptoShow“, “Ostent” and “Black Monday“. Since 2018, she has represented the Attorney General of the National Treasury in actions to combat money laundering crimes with digital assets at Enccla (National Strategy for Combating Corruption and Money Laundering), where she has even been coordinator. In an interview with Livecoins in September 2020, Ana Paula had already shared her opinion about the cryptocurrency market, associated by scammers who promise high profits in the market.
“Some malicious agents, on the other hand, take advantage of the lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies to apply scams. And their acting is basically the same. They raise money, promise high investments, claim they were attacked by a hacker, stop paying everyone and some even ask for judicial recovery”.