Mirror Trading International CEO Johann Steynberg arrested

Mirror Trading International (MTI) founder and CEO Johann Steynberg has been arrested in the city of Goiânia, the capital of the Brazilian state of Goiás, according to several Portuguese-language news reports.

Financial Sector Conduct Authority head of enforcement Brandon Topham said the Hawks have confirmed the arrest.

The Goiás government announced the arrest in a media statement, although it only identified the suspect as the “founder of MTI”.

MTI was a bitcoin-based investment scheme that Chainalysis named the biggest cryptocurrency scam of 2020.

It made headlines in September 2020 after a group calling itself Anonymous ZA exposed the inner workings of the scheme.

Steynberg went missing in December 2020, and the scheme collapsed. He was suspected of travelling in Brazil at the time.

Court documents gave the last estimate of the funds that flowed through MTI as 29,421.03379 bitcoin — R19.7 billion at current exchange rates.

A source with knowledge of the case has subsequently told MyBroadband that more than 46,000 bitcoin (almost R31 billion) flowed through the scheme.

According to the Goiás government, a specialist team of the Brazilian state’s Military Police called Giro made the arrest.

Mirror Trading International

Lt. Col. Raimundo Coelho Pinto Júnior, commander of the Giro, said they received information that a South African man Interpol wanted for alleged financial crimes was hiding in Goiânia.

“Our police officers began to carry out a careful survey of the suspect, and after intensive work carried out for approximately one month, it was possible to identify and approach the subject,” he explained.

When they approached him, MPs reported that the man presented false documentation, for which he was arrested.

“We don’t just act with thieves wearing flip-flops. A high-end bandit doesn’t rise in the State of Goiás. Here he also falls, whatever status he has. Our troops have complete freedom to act,” said Governor Ronaldo Caiado.

“The arrest of a wanted criminal around the world shows the efficiency of the State’s police and the commitment to ceaselessly fight crime,” said Goiás public security secretary Rodney Miranda.

The Goiás military police confirmed the arrest in a separate statement.

They reported seizing credit cards, notebooks, and false identities.

Portuguese-language websites UOL, and Cripto Facil named Steynberg as the arrested suspect.

According to the reports, Steynberg is wanted by Interpol and the FBI, was arrested on 29 December 2021 in the Alto da Glória region, and taken to the federal police station in Goiânia.

They also reported that police searched Steynberg’s hideout and found two false documents, two laptops, a cell phone, and six credit cards.

MyBroadband contacted the federal police station in Goiânia, but no one was on duty who could speak English.

Now read: What the Mirror Trading International liquidators tried to hide — all member claims rejected

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Mirror Trading International CEO Johann Steynberg arrested