In search of the crypto queen; Investigating the case of fraud and disappearance of Rozha Ignatova

According to newly published documents, the chaos of the cryptocurrency market has also caused a huge loss to one of the biggest potential investors of Bitcoin; She is none other than the lost crypto queen, Dr. Roja Ignatova.

The missing fraudster suddenly disappeared in 2017 (1396 AD) and just when his cryptocurrency called OneCoin was in its heyday and had collected billions of dollars in capital, and there is no news of him until now. Currently, Rozha Ignatova is wanted in the United States on charges of fraud and money laundering and is among the top 10 wanted persons of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

FBI agents: Dr. Ignatova travels with armed guards

The educated entrepreneur, who claims to have a doctorate from Oxford, had told his investors that he was launching a project called OneCoin to counter Bitcoin and dubbed it the “Bitcoin Killer”; But the obtained files indicate that the mastermind of the Bitcoin killer secretly converted billions of dollars of his victims’ capital into Bitcoin, a rival cryptocurrency, before disappearing.

Missing Cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova

FBI notification about Roja Ignatova being wanted

The first details about this came in 2021 (1400 AD) through leaked documents from a court in Dubai, which were published online by a lawyer, and identified Rozha Ignatova as “the most successful fraudster in history”. Stay with Zomit to briefly examine part of this case.

Dubai files

the doctor Jonathan Levy, is the person who first published the so-called Dubai Files online. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of money are at stake,” he says. Mr. Levy is also in charge of representing the victims of the OneCoin project to receive compensation. He further mentioned that he received more than thousands of documents, mostly in Arabic, from a whistleblower regarding the case of the missing cryptocurrency queen. Apparently, the whistleblower told Mr. Levy that he was adamantly opposed to the unjust enrichment of some people in Dubai.

According to the disclosed information, Dubai is considered as one of the important financial channels for Dr. Roja. In such a way that the FBI mentions the United Arab Emirates among the five countries with which Dr. Roja was in contact.

It is worth noting that only a part of the information and documents known as the Dubai files in this case have been verified in terms of validation, and some of them are still not considered referable and are considered to lack any legal and judicial validity.

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In addition to the billion-dollar fraud at the international level, this case has become an international concern due to the presence of Mrs. Roja Ignatova in five different countries before she disappeared; However, a lawsuit to pay compensation to the losers of the OneCoin Ponzi project is being pursued in the High Court of the British Indian Ocean Territory, because the domain of the OneCoin website is hosted in this region.

Ruja Ignatova at OneCoin Event in Dubai

Dr. Roja Ignatova at the OneCoin event in Dubai in 2015; OneCoin project had an official office in this city.

Bitcoin contract

The most important claim raised in Dr. Levy’s legal case, which highlights the connection between Dr. Roja and Dubai, refers to a large bitcoin transaction between one of the UAE royal figures, Sheikh Saud bin Faisal Al Qasimi, the son of one of the country’s richest businessmen, and Dr. Roja Ignatova. .

In the legal case disclosed in Dubai files, it is stated that in 2015, Sheikh Saud gave four USB flash drives containing 230,000 bitcoins, which at that time were worth 48.5 million euros, to Dr. Roja. .

On the other hand, Dr. Roja gave Sheikh Saud three bank checks from Bank Mashreq, which have a total amount of about 210 million UAE dirhams (approximately 50 million euros).

According to the documents, before the transaction was completed, Mashreq Bank of Dubai began the process of freezing Dr. Roja’s accounts due to money laundering concerns; Therefore, the received checks were not cashed.

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In 2020 AD (1399 AD), the Dubai authorities released the funds of Dr. Roja’s accounts. This action came when the US Department of Justice indicted Dr. Roja a year earlier for the crypto-fraud Ponzi project OneCoin.

On the other hand, several months before the release of Dr. Roja’s account funds, Mrs. Ignatova’s former financial manager, Mr. Mark Scott was also tried in a court in New York for the crime of money laundering for the amount of 400 million dollars from OneCoin’s earnings, and according to the evidence against him, he was sentenced The court found him guilty.

Despite the inquiries of the official news agencies about the reason for the release of funds from Dr. Roja’s accounts, the public prosecutor of Dubai has not responded, and some interpret this silence as meaningful.

According to the records of the Dubai Court of Appeal, Sheikh Saud requested that Dr. Roja’s bank account funds be handed over to him on April 28, 2022. Therefore, one can see signs that such a big deal has been going on between these two since the beginning and they cannot completely deny its existence. In addition, despite the fact that Dr. Roja has not been seen in public for nearly five years; But in this case, Sheikh Saud is named as the defendant, which doubles the sensitivities of Dubai.

Dr. Roja and Sheikh Saud

Unfortunately, not much information is available about Sheikh Saud and according to sources Sheikh Saud rarely appears in public. In 2017 (1396), he was featured in a video from an organization called the Intergovernmental Collaborative Action Fund for Excellence, which claims to support educational initiatives. Before the disclosure of the “Dubai files”, a communication between the ICAFE organization and Sheikh Saud was recorded; However, with the release of the Dubai files, Sheikh Al-Qasimi’s name as the Secretary General of the ICAFE organization was removed from the official website of this group.

It is also important to mention that a cryptocurrency project has recently been launched and introduced Sheikh Saud as the chairman of the board of directors. However, the Dubai files reveal an undisguised truth about the close connection of the Al-Qassimi family with Dr. Roja Ignatova.

Sheikh Saoud Al Qassimi and Shariar Rahimi

Sheikh Saud Al Qasimi with Shahriar Rahimi at the ICAFE event in Dubai.

After reviewing the files, documents draw attention according to which Mashreq Dubai Bank wrote a letter to Dr. Roja on September 3, 2015 (12 September 2014) and provided explanations about the initiation of the process of blocking his personal account.

Eleven days later, an email was made available to the US court in which Dr. Roja wrote to one of his colleagues in the OneCoin project about the transfer of 50 million euros from Mashreq Matlabi Bank. Also, in the text of the email, Dr. Roja mentioned a meeting that he is going to hold next week with “one of the sheikhs in Dubai” and during that meeting he will do “something” for his colleagues in the OneCoin project.

There is still not enough information to know with whom exactly the meeting was held or even if the meeting was held at all; But this time, Dubai’s disclosure files provide possible clues from the sheikh present in the meeting.

There is a photograph in the Dubai files, apparently taken on October 8, 2015, at an undisclosed location, showing Dr Roja with Sheikh Faisal, Sheikh Saud’s father. The Al Qasimi family rules Sharjah, which shares a border with Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate. Of course, Sheikh Faisal has not responded to the official media about his family’s relationship with Dr. Roja.

Dr. Ruja Ignatova and Sheikh Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Salem Al Qassimi / Sheikh Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Salem Al Qassimi with Dr. Ruja Ignatova

Picture of Sheikh Faisal bin Sultan bin Salem Al Qasimi with Dr. Roja Ignatova

Additionally, the leaked files include an organizational identification card attributed to Dr. Roja Ignatova as a “special advisor” at the ICAFE organization, where Sheikh Saud once held a management position. In addition, it is apparently claimed in the leaked files that this organization was connected to the United Nations; But the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General could not find any record of its affiliation and connection through normal routes recorded in official documents.

However, the co-founder of the ICAFE organization, Shahriar Rahimi, said in his interview that the ICAFE organization was registered by the United Nations; But Mr. Rahimi could not provide proof of this claim either. Regarding the relationship between the organization and Dr. Roja Ignatova, Mr. Rahimi said that all the documents provided to Roja Ignatova came from Sheikh Saud. Therefore, Mr. Rahimi has implicitly limited the communication of ICAFE organization with Ms. Ignatova to Sheikh Saud.

Apparently, some time after the alleged Bitcoin transaction, the relationship between Sheikh Saud and Roja Ignatova takes on a dark color. Because there is a letter among the disclosure files that indicates that Sheikh Saud removed Mrs. Ignatova from the position of ICAFE ambassador before getting involved in legal disputes over Dr. Roja Ignatova’s assets.

In any case, the case between these two was closed on June 28, 2022 (July 7, 1401) in the Dubai Court of Appeal; But there is still no news about Roja Ignatova.

Roja Ignatova ICAFE ID card

Organizational ID card of Dr. Rozha Ignatova at ICAFE revealed in Dubai files

Sheikh Saud’s official lawyer, in response to the media’s questions about the suspicious bitcoin transaction, the connection with Dr. Roja Ignatova, and the role of Sheikh Saud in the ICAFE organization, said:

All the information and documents available to you are baseless and have no legal value.

Given that the suspected Bitcoin transaction was made through cold crypto wallets, it would be very difficult to prove it and the truth of this claim cannot be easily determined.

Bitcoin transactions are often traceable because all financial transfers on the network between cryptocurrency wallets are publicly stored on a database. However, the court documents do not provide details about the wallets involved in the transaction or even the number of wallets in which the bitcoins were stored, making it more complicated to trace the bitcoins.

The question that comes to mind is, does Dr. Roja Ignatova still have the bitcoins? Because the volume of bitcoins is worth attention and its movement definitely attracts attention; Therefore, some people believe that no transfer has taken place yet.

Mr David Birch, cryptocurrency expert, believes that Bitcoin’s reputation as an anonymous currency is misplaced, as law enforcement agencies increasingly use clever algorithms to track cryptocurrencies circulating on the network. Mr. Birch continued:

Getting rid of billions of dollars in dirty money is much more difficult than you might imagine.

Currently, his case is still ongoing and the FBI is looking for him, and his fate is unknown. Meanwhile, if Dr. Roja still holds 230,000 bitcoins, he has become one of the largest holders of this cryptocurrency. In November 2021 AD (Aban 1400), his capital reached about 15 billion dollars; But at the time of writing this article and with the sharp fall in the value of Bitcoin, this figure has reached about 5 billion dollars, which is still enough to remain hidden.

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About the Missing Cryptoqueen, a book and podcasts have been prepared under the title The Missing Cryptoqueen, which examines in more detail how Dr. Roja escaped and hid; So, if you are interested in this topic, you can refer to them.

What do you, Zomit users, think about the Queen of Crypto? Can we hope to find him?

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