OTC Crypto Exchanges Helped Prevent Bank Rob of $5M in Brazil
May 10, 2020 11:38 am
With the help of local OTC trading desks, hack of a $5 million that puzzled investigators in Brazil has been stopped. Online robbery in Brazil targeting Banco Santander, a Spanish multinational financial institution, was prevented after the funds were caught with local over-the-counter (OTC) crypto exchanges.
The violators quickly moved to convert the stolen funds into Bitcoin (BTC), however, the cash triggered many of the bank accounts of the exchanges to be frozen upon receipt, according to local press The Bitcoin Portal. The media outlet declares to have received internal documents from Santander reporting an investigation into the incident, explaining that the institution is unsure as to exactly how the funds were stolen.
A Unique Robbery In Brazil
Santander noticed an irregularity in the accounts of Gerdau, a local steel manufacturer, including 11 suspicious transactions made from a single IP address, of almost $5 million in total, in Mid-April. The amount was transferred to the bank accounts of four OTC Bitcoin trading desks located in São Paulo, the Rio Grande do Sul and Rondônia to other bank accounts.
On April 20, a police report was filed, demanding that the public open an inquiry into the robbery. The fast execution enabled Santander to observe the track of the money, which ended up hitting in Brazilian OTCs.
Local media reported that eight people were involved in the case and the bank accounts receiving the funds were frozen, the fraud was so complicated that it strangled the internal investigation itself, the unique thing is that the transfers were not made from a Gerdau account login. It was operated by another company, also an account holder, exposed in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre called Mundial Ilumination.
“As it was a very high amount, of R $ 5 million [$900,000], we asked for a bank statement from the original account. When we realized that the money we received had entered the original account on the same day, we blocked the operation. Immediately, the customer started to pressure me to send the Bitcoin, but I didn’t. A short time later, the bank blocked my account.” –An anonymous OTC desk operator
The Stolen Money Used to Buy BTC
The perpetrators performed the transfers from Santander via Mundial Illumination, the account of a corporate customer. Describing the incident, the Public Prosecutor said:
“It is as if a corporate bank account had penetrated another corporate bank account for the order to debit the bank.”
The stolen money was used to try to buy bitcoin in OTCs (large volume transactions) in the Brazilian market. The Bitcoin Portal found in conversations with eight people involved in the case, that scammers tried to buy cryptocurrencies of $ 30 million, wherever the money went, triggered a storm of bank account blockages.