According to several reports in Portuguese, the founder and chief executive officer of Mirror Trading International (MTI), Johann Steynberg, has been arrested in Goiania, the capital city of Goias, the capital city of Brazil.
The Hawks’ head of enforcement Brandon Topham Financial Sector Conduct Authority, confirmed the arrest.
The Goias government announced the arrest in an official press release. However, it only tags the suspect as the “founder of MTI.”
Chainalysis called MTI, a Bitcoin-based money-making scheme, the most infamous cryptocurrency scam in 2020.
The scheme was the subject of headlines in September of 2020 after an organization claiming to be Anonymous ZA exposed the operation of this scheme.
Court documents provided the most recent estimate of the money that passed via MTI at 29,421.03379 bitcoin (R19.7 billion) at the current exchange rates.
A reliable source confirmed that the scheme saw more than 4,66,000 Bitcoin (almost 31 billion dollars) was transferred via MTI.
In the words of the Goias government, a special team of the Brazilian state’s Military Police called Giro made the arrest.
Commander Raimundo Coelho Pinto Junior explained that a South African man Interpol wanted for financial crimes had been hiding somewhere in Goiania.
He further said, “Our police officers began to carry out a careful survey of the suspect, and after intensive work carried out for approximately one month, it was possible to identify and approach the subject.”
Governor Ronaldo Caiado stated, “We do not just play with thieves in flip-flops. A high-end criminal doesn’t rise in the State of Goias. He will get arrested regardless of his status. Our troops have complete freedom to act,”
Additionally, the Goias public security secretary Rodney Miranda said, “The arrest of a wanted criminal around the world shows the efficiency of the State’s police and the commitment to fight crime ceaselessly,”
The Goias military police confirmed the arrest in a separate statement, They reported that they had seized notebooks, credit cards, as well as fake identities.
According to sources, Steynberg was wanted by Interpol as well as the FBI. As a result, he was arrested on December 29, 2021, within the Alto da Gloria region and transferred to the Federal Police Station in Goiania.
The report also stated that the police searched Steynberg’s home and found two fake documents, two laptops, one cell phone, and six credit cards.