On Monday, Russia’s local media outlets reported the arrest of Zygmunt Zygmuntovich. He is the co-founder and a high-profile representative of the notorious and biggest Ponzi scheme in Russia.
Zygmuntovich was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as confirmed by Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office. Per the publications, the 24 years old German was arrested and held in prison in the Gulf state.
His detention was first carried out by the Local Interpol Bureau, which informed Russian prosecutors. Russia has already filed a request for extradition with the country’s minister of justice. Its demand is undergoing consideration by the appropriate authorities in Abu Dhabi.
UAE Authorities Review Russia’s Repatriation Request
The culprit was on an international list of wanted offenders when Russian law enforcement began a criminal investigation into the acclaimed fraudulent investment scheme. Authorities were investigating Zygmuntovich alongside Edward Sabirov, Marat Sabirov, and two other partners of the Finkos founder, Kirill Doronin.
Doronin has been in jail since July 2021. When the financial pyramid scheme collapsed, the three partners left Russia.
At the time of writing, the location of the Sabirovs is unknown. However, sources familiar with the matter revealed that two of his former partners might have told the security agencies about his location.
So far, there have been a total number of 22 defendants in the criminal case, including the scheme’s top supporters. Amongst them are two women, Dina Gabdullina and Lilia Nurieva, Doronin’s assistant, and Finkos Vice president Ilgiz Shakirov.
Shakirov was arrested in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, the headquarter where the Ponzi scheme emanated.
As reported by the Russian Ministry of International Affairs, Members of Finiko and its executives have generated at least 5 billion Rubies (an equivalent of over $80 million) through the Ponzi scheme. However, the amount would likely be much higher than this since there are no adequate records.
Furthermore, all funds actualized by the pyramid scheme belong to investors in Russia who have been defrauded and some percentage to investors from other countries. Many of these countries are from the EU, notably Germany, Austria, the US, and Hungary.
Meanwhile, 44 Finiko’s investors had offered to testify against the company. The Pyramid was structured to accept only Bitcoin as means of payment. Hence, many of its victims were asked to send BTC to a wallet address controlled only by Finiko, with a promise to receive 30% monthly returns.
A blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis report revealed that the platform had received over $1.5 billion worth of BTC between Dec. 2019 and August 2021.
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