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THE Gibraltar courts have stepped in to probe a suspect crypto trading platform amid allegations it was a Ponzi scheme.
The news comes as a leading UK liquidator was brought in to close down Globix, which is suspected of defrauding hundreds of investors in Spain and Gibraltar out of as much as €70 million.
At an explosive investors meeting, hosted by former leader of the opposition Daniel Feetham KC this week, the finger was firmly pointed at Globix owner Damian Carreras.
Gibraltarian Carreras, who ran his unregulated crypto company via Gibraltar and the British Virgin Islands, vanished last year with up to €70 million owed to investors.
As the Olive Press revealed a fortnight ago, the company crash was linked to the kidnapping of one of his partners, Russian Pavel Sidorov, in Alicante, last year.
London-based liquidator Begbies Traynor is now trying to establish and locate the assets of Carreras’ company ‘Miracle World Ventures Limited’ and various linked businesses.
The insolvency team is trying to establish if Globix, which they said effectively stopped trading last June, was a fraud, while at the same time primarily recovering any assets it can find.
“Was Globix a scam? Good question,” insolvency expert Adrian Hyde, of Begbies, told dozens of investors gathered for the online meeting.
“We know it’s been suggested it was a Ponzi scheme,” but he added it was ‘too early’ to answer the question.
He also denied the liquidators were in any way connected to Carreras and were ‘working for’ the Gibraltar courts.
But Hyde made it clear that they would go after the assets and property of individuals who may have ‘received huge gifts from the company’, even if it meant bankrupting them first.
The Olive Press can reveal that Carreras, the 39-year-old CEO and sole director of Globix, is currently hiding out in Barcelona after fleeing from furious investors in Gibraltar.
Carreras, who speaks fluent Russian, studied Economics at Tambov University, in Russia, where he met his business partner Sidirov, with whom he set up Globix in 2021.
He lists himself as a ‘crypto mining broker’ on his LinkedIn profile and claims to have worked in the energy sector, as well as for the Ministry of Defence.
When we finally tracked down Carreras for comment he told the Olive Press: “I have nothing to say to you.”
He added: “Basically someone is shit stirring and if you have any evidence send it to me.”
It was a kidnap attempt on Sidirov last June by angry investors frozen out of their funds that first alerted authorities that something was amiss with Globix.
In the shocking abduction, Sidirov was snatched with his girlfriend outside their El Campello villa, before they were somehow able to contact police to be rescued.
It was during the attack that Sidirov was allegedly able to send an estimated €40m to Ukraine in a crypto-wallet.
Third-party financial administrator European Financial Planning Group, registered in Gibraltar, was brought in last June once Globix had run into trouble and stopped allowing creditors to withdraw their funds.
They announced in a letter to investors that they had agreed a plan with Sidirov to receive copies of the codes to the crypto wallets containing Globix assets.
They had also implemented a dual control system over payments, they said, which would require two parties to sign off on outgoings.
But with the kidnap attempt on Sidirov and the crypto keys allegedly being sent to war-torn Ukraine, the situation spiralled into chaos.
“We were hired to do a job, and we did a job,” EFPG majority shareholder Tom Fraser told the Olive Press. “It is what it is.”
“It’s in the hands of the liquidators now.”
A source in the Gibraltar business community said that the story had sent shockwaves around the peninsula since it was published by the Olive Press last week.
“Everyone is talking about it and wondering who is involved and who set the company up,” said the source, who asked not to be named. “It’s a great story and will definitely gather heat.”
A statement issued by the liquidators regarding Miracle World Ventures Limited (In Liquidation) operating as ‘Globix or Globix Cash’ announced that Brian Robert Simpson, Adrian Hyde and Joanne Wild, of Begbies Traynor (the Liquidators), were appointed on March 10.
It read: “Following their appointment, the Liquidators are making contact with all known creditors and investors/customers, who should expect to be contacted over the coming 2 days.
“In the meantime, if interested parties have any questions or matters that they wish to raise with the liquidators, they should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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