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The Disappearance of Ruza Ignatova: Is She Dead or Living Lavishly with 9 Billion Euros?

Where is Ruza Ignatova? Is she dead or is she living somewhere luxurious with 9 billion euros – under a new identity and with a new appearance? Two German publications are once again following the footsteps of the Bulgarian “crypto queen”.

On January 8, 2024, the trial against three accomplices of the “crypto queen”, as the Bulgarian with a German passport, Ruzha Ignatova, is also known, ended in Münster. There were three people in the dock – a married couple and a lawyer from Munich. The married couple defrauded millions of customers who were damaged with an amount approximately equal to three billion euros. They have raised €320 million from around 90,000 customers across Europe for the fictional cryptocurrency OneCoin. And the lawyer from Munich transferred parts of this amount to foreign bank accounts. The husbands received 5 and 4 years in prison, and the lawyer – nearly 3 years.

“Lies, Rumors, International Financial Schemes”

At the latest, after this case, there is no longer any doubt that in the case of the fictional cryptocurrency OneCoin it is a fraudulent scheme, writes “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (ZC):

“For two whole years, the judges wandered in a labyrinth of lies, rumors, international financial schemes… The court sentenced three accomplices, but one thing must be clear: the case will only end when the main accused – the “crypto queen” Ruzha Ignatova sits down in the dock.”

However, there is no trace of her, the publication recalls. One morning in October 2017, Ignatova got on the plane from Sofia to Athens and since then she has been missing. And the case in Münster failed to provide an answer to the most important question: Where is the “crypto queen”?, points out ZC.

Ignatova’s former bodyguard Frank Schneider can shed some light. The one-time director of operations for Luxembourg’s secret services was detained upon entry into the country from France in April 2021 and may be extradited to the US, where several lawsuits are pending against people close to the OneCoin creator. Through his company, Schneider has built something like a private secret service for Ruzha Ignatova, which he himself denies, ZC adds.

Shortly before taking the plane from Sofia to Athens, Ignatova learned from her “Bulgarian friends” that Germany had received a request for legal assistance in the case involving her, writes another German publication – the Baden-Württemberg newspaper “Schwarzvelder Bote” (ШБ ). According to the publication, the “crypto queen” was warned that she must be urgently removed from the country, as she was becoming a problem for her contacts.

In Athens, Frank Schneider handed her a ticket for a flight to Thessaloniki, where people would be waiting for her who would take her back to Bulgaria, we learn more from the publication of SB. Later, Schneider received a text message from Ignatova, which read: “Home safe”. This is also the last sign of life from her.

Is Ruza Ignatova dead?

The fact that the short message to him was written in English puzzled Schneider, as previously Ruzha Ignatova had always written to him only in German, Schwarzwelder Bote explains. Therefore, he believes that Ignatova was liquidated, and the message was sent by her killers, writes “Mother well“.

The version that the “crypto queen” is no longer among the living is also supported by information obtained by “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. According to the publication from Munich, an anonymous source claims that the killer is a man who is in a Dutch prison for heroin trafficking. He had shot Ruzha Ignatova on a yacht in the Ionian Sea. He then cut her body into pieces and threw them into the sea. These claims, however, cannot be proven, clarifies TZ.

However, the fact that Ruža’s brother and her mother spoke with her on the phone after her alleged murder speaks against such a version. Moreover, apparently they were not at all worried by the fact that Ruzha Ignatova had disappeared. The publication also recalls another fact: an American reporter extracted from the FBI the information that the service had a good reason to keep Ruza Ignatova on the list of the most wanted persons, i.e. this could mean she is alive.

There are also documents, according to which Ruzha Ignatova led a wonderful life illegally. According to them, back in 2015, the founder of OneCoin sold her company to a person from one of the most influential dynasties in the United Arab Emirates for 230,000 bitcoins, which Ignatova received in three flash drives. If we assume that she owns this cryptocurrency, this would provide her with a fortune of over 9 billion euros – at today’s bitcoin rate, Schwarzwelder Bote also writes.

However, all this does not prevent the financial pyramid from existing. The office of the fictional currency OneCoin stands undisturbed in the center of Sofia, but under a new name – One Ecosystem. And inspired sellers continue to beat the drum of the promised financial revolution – under the indifferent gaze of the Bulgarian authorities. The Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office has an interesting explanation for this: neither Onecoin nor One Ecosystem were registered in the Bulgarian commercial register – this is how the prosecutor’s office answered Süddeutsche Zeitung. And the inquiry sent to One Ecosystem remained unanswered, the publication specifies.

Does Ruzha Ignatova’s former bodyguard know where the “crypto queen” is?

On the other hand, Ruzha Ignatova’s former bodyguard showed unexpected responsiveness: in June 2022, Frank Schneider invited a reporter from “Süddeutsche Zeitung” to visit him at his home. In front of him, he revealed that he started working for Ruza Ignatova after she was recommended to him by a former Deputy Minister of Finance of Bulgaria. Schneider admits to the publication that he was impressed by her and allowed himself to be blinded.

In the many-hour conversation, it also became clear that Schneider has the results of the “Operation Satellite” investigation of an international working group of investigators, as well as that Ignatova was informed “practically live” by her contacts in the Bulgarian police about the progress of the investigation against her. In this regard, ZC also quotes Schneider’s words:

“It is clear that contacts with representatives of the political and economic elite, as well as with organized crime in the country, are necessary in order to carry out a fraud of a similar scale – completely undisturbed and for years. In any case, in Bulgaria there is not much difference between them – it’s a mafia state.” ZC points out that the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior has never answered whether Ignatova was covered up by the Bulgarian authorities.

There are still investors who believe in OneCoin

However, there are still investors who prefer to believe in a conspiracy than the bitter truth of a huge fraud, writes ZC.

Journalists from the publication have spoken with several of them. A man who invested an amount in Ruzha Ignatova’s cryptocurrency says on the phone: “I am not a victim.” According to him, no one was deceived – except the judicial system. The state played theater for the real big players who pulled the strings – the bank owners. And these people were now doing everything they could to prevent the alleged ongoing revolution in the financial system, the man told ZC. “But they won’t succeed. OneCoin is unstoppable.”

Despite the verdicts in the Munster case, many of the people who invested their money in the OneCoin system continue to defend it. Nothing can be trusted these days, they say. “The state is lying. The state is failing. But OneCoin will bring order,” said another defender of the scheme, quoted by ZC.

The newspaper states that in mid-December 2023, the company even opened a new office in Hanoi, Vietnam. There is a video of the event, where dancers dance with butterfly wings, people take selfies – apparently happy to have taken advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime, ZC also writes.

OneCoin’s ghostly longevity is far from the only strange thing about this fraudulent system, ZC points out. Investors in the scheme, who have not yet lost their optimism, have their own sign on the hand – the letter O, formed by the thumb and forefinger. They have their own eBay-like platform called Dealshaker where they can pay with OneCoin. They sell vitamins from Malaysia, cheese graters and yellow cheese from Romania, piano lessons in Korea – this is the strangest market on the Internet, writes ZC.

OneCoin is sold on a commission basis through direct marketing – the way some kitchen appliances are sold or the so-called lifestyle pills. Without media advertising and without much publicity, often within private networks that pass information to each other. According to information from “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, only in Germany about 60,000 people have invested money in OneCoin.

2024-01-21 20:25:00
#Ruza #Ignatova

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