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BaFin Cease and Desist Order – Update on Libra Markets, KontoFX, Petar Zlatkov, and Bulgarian boiler rooms

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In 2018 and 2019 the financial market authorities UK FCA, Australia ASIC, and Austria FMA issued investor warnings against the illegal broker schemes KontoFX and EZcryptospace and its Estonian operating entity NTMT Transformatic Markets OU. On Dec 12, 2019, the German watchdog BaFin issued a cease and desist order against the Estonian Yield Enterprise Currency Software OU for operating the broker scheme Libra Markets (www.libramarkets.com). Previously, this company has operated the UProFX scheme.

The Bulgarian Petar Borislavov Zlatkov is recorded as the sole director in both companies. This guy is also the sole director of Yield Enterprise Currency Software OU registered in Estonia. While KontoFX, UProFX, EZcryptospace vanished already in the dark of cyberspace, Libra Markets is still actively defrauding investors.

The Bulgarian Boiler Rooms

We have pointed out several times in the past that brands, operating entities, and frontmen change frequently. The lifetime of a scam brand is very short and rarely longer than 2 years.

On the other hand, the boiler rooms remain behind the scam brands are here to stay. The client-victim data of the scams are used for the next scam after the disappearance of the previous one. Typically, client-victims of a vanished scams receive calls from the boiler room agents to convince them to switch to the new scam brand. In this respect, the ultimate perpetrators of the scams are the boiler rooms and their employees. Many of the largest and most dangerous boiler rooms have been built in recent years in Belgrade, Serbia, and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Even after the arrest of the Israeli Wolf of Sofia, Gal Barak, and the disappearance of his E&G Bulgaria EOOD, the boiler room operators behind KontoFX, UProFX, EZcryptospace or Libra Markets are still active in Sofia. These include Mercure Group OOD (formerly Rax Media OOD) and ABC Global EOOD. The latter, however, provides false company information on its website. The company cannot be found in the Bulgarian company register.

The Belgrade Connection

In May 2018, the official ownership of Mercure Group OOD was transferred to the Serbian citizen Stratorija Semilovic which would mean that, maybe, this Bulgarian boiler room is now controlled from Belgrade, Serbia. Actually, this would not come as a surprise. Belgrade is another boiler room hub in Europe and conveniently Serbia is not a member of the European Union.

Belgrade is home to large boiler rooms such as Parogan DOO, Tera Media DOO or Daisy Marketing DOO. Until 2018, Gal Barak used to operate My Markets DOO in Belgrade together with local partners and lawyers.

Report Broker Scams and Boiler Rooms

Illegally operating broker schemes and their boiler rooms are part of fast-growing global cybercrime activities. Millions of investors are defrauded by those broker sites losing billions of euros every year. Hence, it is important to warn investors of such illicit sites. If you are a victim of an illegally operating broker scam and/or you are aware of boiler room activities please file your claim and report activities via our whistleblower system.

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