Police in Bulgaria are still trying to work out whether the disappearance of one of the country’s most prominent crypto traders is a case of abduction or if the rumored millionaire is simply trying to hide from angry out-of-pocket clients.
As reported by Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), Alexander Altunbashev, who allegedly made nearly $6.5 million from his trades last year, went missing early last week during a trip from his home in Sofia to Bulgaria’s second-largest city Plovdiv.
Police were contacted by Altunbashev’s sister when she saw a mysterious man entering her brother’s apartment and was subsequently unable to contact him by phone.
Authorities found Altunbashev’s apartment ransacked, and speculated that the man seen by the entrepreneur’s sister was attempting to access his bank accounts or crypto wallets.
Police in Sofia have opened an investigation into the disappearance but as yet don’t know exactly what they’re dealing with. Stoyno Tsvetkov, head of the Investigations Department at the Interior Ministry told BNR:
“There is a signal from his close relative — that she has not been able to contact her brother for two days now and for this reason a pre-trial procedure has been initiated to determine whether there is really evidence that the person was abducted.”
Altunbashev could be looking to swerve angry investors
However, despite the mysterious man and Altunbashev’s trashed apartment, some in the crypto community believe that he may have engineered his own disappearance to cover up a number of bad investments.
According to a report in Bulgarian outlet Plovdiv 24, Altunbashev’s last known mobile phone exchange was with Ivaylo Borisov, a Bulgarian businessman and friend of the missing trader who has previously been suspected of links to a number of criminal enterprises.
The pair had allegedly arranged to meet but Altunbashev never showed.
It’s been suggested that Altunbashev may have been investing on behalf of a number of clients who, thanks to the recent industry-wide crash that has seen some big-name cryptos shed up to half of their previous value, are now underwater.
Speaking to another Bulgarian television station bTV, director of crypto-focused charity Bithope, Vladislav Dramaliev said: “If he was indeed managing money for others, and you wake up one morning and the money has turned to zero — maybe there is a conflict with the people that are looking for their money” (via Bitcoin.com).