In recent days, international law enforcement actions have taken place in Israel, Cyprus, and Ukraine. Initially, we hypothesized that these actions were connected. This hypothesis, however, is only partly correct. While the U.S. FBI initiated the action in Israel with office raids and 26 arrests, the enforcement activities in Cyprus have been organized by German authorities. A well-known tech entrepreneur was arrested in Israel; in Cyprus, the boss of a CySEC-regulated investment firm was detained; in Ukraine, a notorious boiler room operator was arrested. All these enforcement actions were conducted on legal grounds of longing investigations of cyberfinancial crimes. Still, not all facts are known. Here is an update!
Simone Weinglass reported in The Times of Israel that 47-year-old former Israeli high-tech hero Guy Grinberg (pictured left) and 33-year-old Snir Moshe Hananya were among the 26 arrested individuals. According to our local sources, Grinberg was already a well-known figure in the fraudulent Israeli binary options and forex industry. The arrest, however, is said to have been made for operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment and trading scheme that has produced victims in the U.S. and other jurisdictions.
Guy Grinberg and his social media start-up Koolanoo have been part of the Israeli Start-Up Nation. His venture was purportedly featured in interviews on CNBC and Bloomberg and praised in the 2009 book “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle.” Today, we know better. The truth is that the then-Israeli start-up miracle was primarily fueled by the fraudulent binary options industries and its facilitating tech and social media companies.
Cyprus and Ukraine
The German authorities have set parallel law enforcement authorities apparently actions in Cyprus and Ukraine. In Cyprus, the boss of a CySEC-regulated firm was arrested, although it is not clear at this time whether he is currently still in custody or has been released. He is said to be a suspect in the FX Leader investigation case.
According to the official press statement of the Ukraine police, the German prosecutor’s office in Bamberg has initiated the search of offices in Kyiv and the arrest of a notorious boiler room owner (arrest pictured right). In the process, assets worth €50 million have been seized. The arrested boiler room operator is also said to be the beneficial owner of boiler rooms in Bulgaria and Serbia. One of these boiler room operating entities is SelectX Marketing DOO, a company in Belgrade, through which, among other brands, the Nobeltrade scam was operated.
Stay tuned, we will continue to report!