Europol, together with Spanish security forces, detained Spanish youtuber Gonzalo Sapiña in the Principality of Andorra on 18 January, along with five other people for the alleged crime of pyramid fraud through trading courses with bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
During the police operation, Europol indicated that they seized the equivalent of 70 thousand euros in cash, bitcoin , ether, XRP and OmiseGo. The bank accounts of those involved were also seized and eight high-end vehicles were seized.
The company run by Sapiña is called GNZ Academy and is located in Andorra. They operated taking advantage of the fame of the youtuber to attract victims by offering courses that had costs ranging from 99 to 599 euros, as detailed on their website.
According to comments from some users, the courses “barely had content”, some were even managed through Telegram and promised up to 80% returns to users. The authorities believe that 11,000 people were affected.
What the users said, contrasts with what the site shows GNZ Academy website, where there are images of supposed students thanking the youtuber for the knowledge imparted.
Sapiña was brought to justice, being provisionally released for alleged “international fraud.” The rest of the people who acted as collaborators, were released , as their participation in the scam could not be proven.
The Spanish Civil Guard, together with the Andorran police and Europol ask “any private person who has been harmed by this type of activity” to make the pertinent complaint.
From «pending coffees» to promoting trading courses
Sapiña began its career in the internet in 2013, when he promoted an initiative called Cafés Pendientes. It consisted of leaving paid coffees to people who could not afford them.
«I created a page on Facebook, I googled the photos and made a text, I started to share it on different pages. In the days with the most visits we have reached 250,000. We have 250 bars subscribed right now and 150 under review, “he said in an interview to the newspaper El País in 2014.
In 2019 she decided to move to Andorra with her partner and began to show off her luxuries on Instagram. It was the way to support his 90,000 followers that everything he achieved was thanks to his investments.
In fact, he even said in a video that he won 1 million euros in an operation of trading.
The plot of GNZ Academy arrived in Venezuela
In addition to their operations in Europe, the company GNZ Academy and Sapiña, took advantage of the serious economic crisis in Venezuela to offer supposed free courses to Venezuelans, on its website. They requested the data of the interested persons, which would then be added to a Telegram channel, where it would explain how to generate income.
«Due to the economic situation that Venezuela is experiencing, with each time a worse economy and since what I do is share knowledge, I have decided to give away my intensive course valued at 400 euros to all those who are from Venezuela “, says GNZ Academy on its website.
Last year, Eduardo Gavotti economist and financial advisor in statements to CriptoNoticias, advised not to take seriously those who claim that a profit of 400% can be generated by trading.
A your judgment, whoever makes a promise like that is surely lying. He added that for someone to promise high returns, they must know what the market will move, which “is impossible to determine unless that person is able to predict the future.”