Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A European national accused of stealing millions of US dollars in cryptocurrency has reportedly cut off his GPS tracker and gone on the run just before his trial in Canada got underway.
Vukasin Popovic, 34, who is accused of taking part in major cryptographic theft in January, reportedly cut off his GPS tracker on the morning of 24th March.
Popovic and two suspected accomplices, Croatian and French nationals Yvon Petrovic, 27, and David Mercier, 21, were reportedly arrested on 12th February by the police in the Canadian city of Montreal for theft, fraud and conspiracy.
In January, the three men arrived from Europe and arranged to meet two US nationals in the lobby of a Montreal hotel for a deal worth several million USD in cryptography, according to local media.
The transaction was reportedly carried out with an encrypted key which required a code so that the virtual money could be transferred.
However, the two Americans claimed they had been robbed during the transaction and reported the incident to the local authorities.
Thanks to certain techniques that included tailing, investigators managed to quickly track down one of the suspects and identify the other two.
The police arrested the three men before they could return to their home countries.
Popovic, who had to pay bail and agree to wear a GPS wristband, and the two co-defendants were conditionally released on 18th February.
They were scheduled to appear in court last week, but the case was postponed to a later date due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Police believe that during his escape, Popovic may have used his real identity, the false name of Duliano (or Djuliano) Jovanovic, or possibly another false identity.
Police are asking anyone who knows the fugitive’s whereabouts to contact the local authorities as the manhunt continues.
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