The police reportedly recovered $3.6 million in cash, 21 luxury automobiles, and other pieces of jewellery in addition to the Bitcoin. Five people have been arrested as part of Operation Kryptos.
According to CNN Brazil, federal police in Brazil have confiscated a record $28.7 million in cryptocurrency.
One of the five people was Glaidson Acacio, the owner of a Bitcoin consulting firm in Rio de Janeiro. Acacio was apprehended in a villa in Barra de Tijuca, a neighbourhood in the city’s western outskirts.
Acacio is accused of allegedly transferring “billions” in the purported pyramid scam, which promised investors a return of up to 15%.
Acacio’s defence has published a statement claiming that they are “informed of the arrest” but do not have access to the investigation’s material at this time. Acacio is scheduled to have a custody hearing today, according to CNN.
Crimes involving cryptocurrency in Brazil
This isn’t the first time cryptocurrency-related criminality has made its way to Brazil’s borders.
Claudio Oliveira, the former head of financial management firm Bitcoin Banco Group, was arrested in July of this year for allegedly defrauding over 7,000 people out of $300 million.
Later that month, police in Brazil confiscated $33 million in a money-laundering investigation involving 17 organizations wiring monies among themselves across numerous cryptocurrency exchanges.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Exchange,” involved six search warrants in the Diadema municipality of Sao Paulo.