Brazilian authorities have provided documentation to their Brazilian counterparts, and a judge has ordered that Mirror Trading International’s CEO should be kept in precautionary detention. Johann Steynberg tried to use his Brazilian family to end his precautionary detention.
Johann Steynberg, the man behind Mirror Trading International (MTI), South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency scams, applied to Brazil for his precautionary detention to be revoked. A Brazilian judge rejected this application. According to reports, MTI’s chief executive stated that he should be placed under house arrest as a result of no extradition request.
Steynberg also claimed that he had no warrant outstanding for his arrest when he fled South Africa in December 2020. Also, the case did not meet certain requirements that would allow him to be extradited. According to the Brazilian judiciary’s document, Steynberg also stated that he had started a family in Brazil since then, so placing him under house arrest would suffice.
Steynberg’s arguments were rejected by Andre Mendonca, the Brazilian supreme Court judge. The judge stated that South African authorities had actually “presented documentation aimed to formalize the extradition request [on April 14, 2020]. ]”
The judge also noted that Steynberg was arrested on warrant by Justice of South Africa. This was as evident by Interpol’s Red Diffusion records. A document sent by South African Public Ministry suggested that Steynberg was being investigated for his involvement in the scam.
Steynberg: A Flight Risk
According to reported earlier by Bitcoin.com News. Steynberg had, prior to disappearing in the late 2020s, handed over control of MTI funds and assets to his wife Nerina. The former MTI mastermind had reportedly been in a relationship with a Brazilian lady when he was detained by Brazilian authorities in December 2021.
Mendonca addressed Steynberg’s attempt to use his intimate relationship and the unnamed female as a justification for his extradition.
The fact that the extradited person has taken up residence in Brazil or constituted a family doesn’t prevent the precautionary arrest or future extradition. According to the Attorney General’s Office the rule in extraditions refers to the precautionary arrest due the the respect reciprocal between jurisdictions.
Steynberg’s fake identity documents at the time he was arrested suggests that he may have an “intention of evade potential criminal liability.”