Wealthy businessman Eike Batista has been arrested by federal police on account of suspected money laundering, which they believe he achieved by trading Bitcoin (BTC) on his wife’s behalf.
The details of Batista’s arrest were reported by Cointelegraph Brasil on Aug. 8. Prosecutors reportedly found notes indicating that he had traded BTC for his wife, who is not currently being investigated. The Federal Prosecutor wrote:
"Although the suspect’s wife, Mrs. Flávia, is not being investigated, it is quite possible, given the evidence of such a usual means of money laundering that the suspect was using the wife's name and account to ensure concealment of the products or proceeds of crime.”
Batista was reportedly arrested in the course of Operation Midas Secret, which was apparently backed by the TAG Bank owner Eduardo Plass. Fernando Martins, Batista’s attorney, apparently considers this arrest to be illegal.
The Federal Prosecution Service alleges that Batista and his employee Luiz Andrade Correia used one of Plass’s companies "to buy and sell shares in the domestic and international financial markets for the purpose of manipulating corporate assets." The two are also believed to have illegally traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and committed fraud in relation to MMX, MPX and OGX stock trading.
The Attorney General’s Office further alleges that Batista and Correia illegally traded on underground stock exchanges, and the Brazilian Ministry of the Public said $800 million were transacted illegally.
According to the report, Batista was also arrested back in February 2017. Although he was released just two months later, Batista was accused of getting out of his 30 year prison sentence early by bribing former governor Sérgio Cabral in the amount of $16.5 million.
As noted in the report, Forbes previously listed Batista as the seventh-richest man in the world. In 2012, Forbes further named Batista as the richest person in Brazil, with an estimated net worth of a little under $15 billion. Batista apparently become wealthy in connection with oil, mining and energy operations, as per Cointelegraph’s report.
Money laundering through crypto
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, two men in the United States recently plead guilty to laundering millions of dollars through cryptocurrencies as well as Western Union payments. The two reportedly sold controlled substances through a darknet website in exchange for cryptocurrencies and Western Union payments, which were subsequently laundered and turned into cash.