Ruja Ignatova, founder of the notorious crypto pyramid Onecoin, was reportedly alerted about police investigations into the scam before she disappeared. The ‘Cryptoqueen’ has been on the run for several years, wanted by law enforcement agencies around the world.
Onecoin Mastermind Learned About Arrest Efforts From Leaked Police Documents, Podcast Reveals
A media report has shed light on how Onecoin’s founder Ruja Ignatova may have been warned about the plans to detain her months before she disappeared almost five years ago. That’s according to files seen by the BBC, which airs a podcast devoted to the story of the infamous fugitive called ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen.’
The documents were shown by Frank Schneider, a former intelligence officer from Luxembourg and once trusted adviser to Ignatova who is facing extradition to the U.S. for his alleged role in the Ponzi scheme. Schneider denies obtaining the files himself and claims he received them on a flash drive from Ruja while the metadata suggests she got them through her own contacts in Bulgaria.
The 42-year-old Bulgarian-born Ignatova, also a German national, is wanted by Interpol, Europol, and the FBI for misappropriating $4 billion from defrauded investors. She was last seen on Oct. 25, 2017, when she boarded a Ryanair flight bound for Athens. Media reports unveiled this summer that the Greek police tried to locate her, acting on information about her recent meetings in the country.
According to the BBC, the police files contain presentations made during a meeting on “Operation Satellite” at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague held on March 15, 2017. It was attended by representatives of the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the New York District Attorney. Officers from the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Dubai, and Bulgaria were also present.
The participants discussed details of the investigation into the crypto pyramid, including unsuccessful attempts by the City of London Police to interview Ignatova. The FBI did not comment on the Europol documents but Special Agent Paul Roberts told the podcast:
There were investigations all around the world into her, and into Onecoin generally, many of which she had become aware of due to actions by law enforcement in other countries.
In 2019, U.S. prosecutors alleged that Schneider was the one who provided the Cryptoqueen with confidential police information. However, he insists that “when the Bulgarians participated at certain Europol meetings, it only took hours for her to get a complete rundown and get the minutes of what was said in those meetings.”
The Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, U.S. law enforcement bodies that took part in the March 2017 meeting, and the Dubai Police refrained from commenting. Europol, which said it’s looking into the matter, stated that “This complex scenario with many stakeholders makes it difficult to assess where and how such an incident might have occurred.”
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Arrest, Bulgaria, bulgarian, Crypto, crypto pyramid, crypto scam, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Cryptoqueen, Documents, Europol, FBI, Files, Fraud, Ignatova, interior ministry, INTERPOL, Investigation, Onecoin, Podcast, Police, Pyramid, report, Ruja, Ruja Ignatova, Scam
Do you think Onecoin Cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova was alerted by leaked police documents about an upcoming arrest? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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