A joint operation between authorities from several countries supported the operation and helped identify the duo.
The PF, in support of Portugal, announced that it had arrested a couple of Brazilians who were forging passports. By committing the frauds, more than 1 Bitcoin was charged for the service, which caught the authorities‘ attention.
All the negotiation to obtain a falsified passport took place through the deep web. This way, the couple’s clients negotiated with cryptomites the making of a valid document in Europe.
Although the arrest took place in Portugal, the couple had only been living in the country for a short time. Before that, they had been investigated by the UK police since 2018.
The Lisbon police who carried out the operation against the couple, who posted the documents. The authorities that handled the case claim that the quality of this forgery was high.
PF and Portugal arrest couple of Brazilians who forged passports in exchange for cryptomorphs
Portugal announced the arrest of a Brazilian couple in Lisbon, committing sophisticated crimes. The couple was arrested last Monday (28) after a two-year investigation against an international gang.
Among the group’s actions are the „manufacture and sale of falsified documents, fraud in procedures to obtain citizenship and smuggling of immigrants“. In a statement, the Federal Police of Brazil in Belo Horizonte stated that the suspects were being monitored.
The arrest came after an international cooperation agreement involving the Federal Police, Europol, the United Kingdom and Portuguese police. The arrested duo were part of the gang which, after the production of false documents, negotiated these through the deep web.
As payment, they were asked for 10,000 euros per document, or about 65,000 reais today. Considering the price of Bitcoin today, this figure would give more than 1 BTC per false document.
In addition, at the time of the police operation, the authorities seized Bitcoin Benefit mining machines with the Brazilian couple.
„During the searches, Portuguese investigators found a huge amount of forged documents and passports of various nationalities, including Brazilians, in addition to high-tech computer equipment for Bitcoin mining and cyber crime,“ the PF said in a statement
What attracted most attention in fact was the quality of the forgery, considered high. At the time of the arrest, high quality printers and several documents were seized.
Case in the midst of pressure for Bitcoin regulation in Portugal
Still in 2019, Portugal had shocked the world by announcing that transactions with cryptomites should be exempt from tax. At the time, the Tax Authority even said that no income tax should be paid by traders.
However, in 2020, the Portuguese government is one of the countries that has paid the most attention to the issue of cryptomorphs. At the beginning of September, the Bank of Portugal took over the regulation of the sector. This was two months after the new president took office.
Although the case of the gang that forged passports and sold them for Bitcoin was isolated, it throws light on criminal activities involving cryptomorphs at a delicate moment.
It is worth noting that the president of the Banco de Portugal considers cryptomorphs to be a worrying sector and may even use the case to impose tougher rules on the sector.