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Exclusive: Group steals R$30 million from Gerdau in Santander account and tries to buy bitcoins

Exclusivo: Grupo rouba R$ 30 milhões da Gerdau em conta do Santander e tenta comprar bitcoins

There are all kinds of scams in the bitcoin market in Brazil, but this goes beyond everything that is known. One group managed to steal R $ 30 million from an account of the metallurgical company Gerdau at Santander bank and then tried to use the money to buy bitcoins in the Brazilian market.

The Portal do Bitcoin had access to the police report, registered on April 20, and the process, carried out the following day, in which the Spanish bank asks the Rio Grande do Sul Public Ministry to open the investigation for theft in a agency based in Porto Alegre.

The document shows that on April 16, Gerdau informed Santander of the problem, which assumed the loss. According to the internal investigation, the deviations occurred after a hitherto unknown type of invasion made in the metallurgical’s internet banking. Then, 11 TEDs were carried out for different locations.

The amounts were transferred to four companies located in São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul and Rondônia to other bank accounts. The quick performance allowed Santander to monitor the path of money, which ended up arriving in Brazilian OTCs.

The fraud is so complex that it strangled the internal investigation itself. The singular thing is that the transfers were not made from a Gerdau account login. The debit was made by another company, also an account holder, located in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre called Mundial Ilumination.

Through Mundial’s internet banking, scammers were able to program and carry out TEDs. At the end of the operation, there was a manipulation of the system’s internal channel coding. In other words: the money did not come from the account of the company that was logged in, Mundial, but from Gerdau.

“It is as if a corporate bank account had invaded another corporate bank account for the order of debiting the bank”, says the investigation sent to the Public Ministry.

According to the internal investigation, all transactions were made from the same IP. The fraud had been scheduled since the previous week. Six days before the coup, Santander fought a World Lighting operation because it is a high value outside the standard of the company’s movement – a common security procedure.

The person in charge of the company contacted the bank and requested the release of risk from the current account to allow the release of the high-value transaction, which prepared the high movements in the following week.

Buying Bitcoin

Although not included in Santander’s internal investigation, the stolen money was used to try to buy bitcoin in OTCs (large volume transactions) in the Brazilian market.

In conversations with eight people involved in the case, the Portal do Bitcoin found that scammers tried to buy R$30 million in cryptocurrencies, triggering a storm of bank account blockages wherever the money went.

Any company or p2p that received a fraction of the money stolen from Santander had the account not available.

Three people involved questioned by the report confirmed that they had accounts closed by different banks. A fourth denied participation, although it was mentioned by five different people.

It was not possible to confirm how many bitcoins were given to the scammers, since the amounts differ between the people consulted – from R$3.5 million to R$15 million. What is certain is that it was not total value, as the compliance of some companies caught inconsistencies before the sale was made.

“As it was a very high amount, of R$5 million, we asked for an extract from the original account. When we realized that the money we received had entered the original account on the same day, we went into operation. Immediately, the customer started to pressure me to send the bitcoins, but I didn’t. A short time later, the bank blocked myaccount”, said the owner of an OTC, who asked not to be identified.

As far as we know, only a p2p can be directly involved with the scam. The other Brazilian OTCs and p2ps did not know where the money came from and may have relaxed the client’s checking procedures too much.

Asked about the case, Santander and Metallurgy Gerdau said they would not speak out.


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