hands in handcuffs

Alleged leader of Russian Ponzi scheme nabbed after costing investors nearly $100M

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has announced the arrest of Edvard Sabirov, one of the suspected high-ranking figures in the Finiko investment scheme.

Sabirov was apprehended in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after being placed on the international wanted list on November 12. Sabirov was nabbed on suspicion of his involvement in a digital asset Ponzi scheme widely considered to have cost victims losses of almost $100 million.

Finiko operated as a multilevel marketing scheme that promised investors rewards for referring new users to the platform. Russian news outfit The Bell revealed that things reached an ugly end for investors after Finiko froze BTC withdrawals on the platform and allowed investors to withdraw funds in the project’s native token, which lost nearly 100% of its value.

Immediately after his arrest, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office wrote to Interpol’s office in the UAE to request Sabirov’s extradition. The extradition process appears to be making significant progress, with all the agencies involved working frenetically.

“The NCB (National Central Bureau) of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, in order to notify the Emirati side, sent a confirmation of the intention to demand his extradition to Russia and a petition for his detention within 60 days from the moment of detention,” said the prosecutor’s office.

“In addition, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation sent a petition for the detention of Edward Sabirov in custody directly to the Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates.”

Law enforcement agents had previously apprehended Kirill Doronin in July, thwarting his attempts to escape to Turkey under the alias “Onur Namik.” At the moment, only Marat Sabirov remains at large of Finiko’s founding trio, but the walls could be closing in for him after a listing on the international wanted lists.

Law enforcement on the hunt for industry bad actor

Global law enforcement agents are going after bad actors in the ecosystem after the collapse of their operations.

At the top of the list is Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon, who is currently on the run from South Korean authorities after the collapse of the Terra project. Interpol issued a ‘red notice‘ to member countries after the South Korean Ministry of Interior invalidated his passport.

Ruja Ignatova, the founder of the OneCoin project, has been on the run for nearly four years after costing investors losses of almost $4 billion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Europol, and German national police are collaborating on a global manhunt to apprehend the elusive Ignatova.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, Cybersecurity: A Safer World with Blockchain

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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