The whereabouts of Alexander Altunbashev, a Bulgarian entrepreneur and crypto trader, are unknown since Monday. Law enforcement officials are now investigating his possible abduction while some in the local crypto community speculate he might be hiding from disgruntled investors.
Bulgarian Authorities Investigate Possible Kidnapping of Alleged Crypto Millionaire
Police in Bulgaria are trying to locate a businessman who went missing under strange circumstances earlier this week. The 32-year-old Alexander Altunbashev is an IT specialist and entrepreneur who, according to media reports, made money from crypto trading.
Prosecutors in Sofia are looking into his possible kidnapping as the main suspected reason for his disappearance. Quoting sources from the investigation, Nova TV reported that Alexander’s sister, Teodora, spoke with him before he left for Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city.
On Monday morning, Teodora gave him a ride to Sofia’s Mladost district. Later that day, she saw a man unlocking and entering her brother’s home, right next door to her own apartment. When she asked him who he was and what he was doing, he left telling her only he was “in a hurry” and getting in an SUV driven by a woman.
Investigators found Alexander’s apartment turned upside down. They believe that whoever did it was probably trying to gain access to his bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets. The last time Teodora managed to reach him over the phone, Alexander told her he was traveling towards Burgas, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
Alexander’s atypical behavior and her failed attempts to talk to him again when his phone was switched off convinced Teodora to call the police. Investigators have also interrogated the crypto trader’s girlfriend, Kristina, who didn’t know of any threats against him or issues with his business relations.
Altunbashev May Be Hiding From Clients, Crypto Community Suspects
The missing IT expert’s cellphone was last used from a location just outside Sofia. The last person to speak with him was Ivaylo Borisov, a person with a criminal record known by his alias ‘Torino,’ who is a close friend of Alexander. The two were supposed to meet at noon on Monday but the crypto trader didn’t show up. Borisov is collaborating with law enforcement authorities.
Meanwhile, speculations have emerged in the country’s crypto community that Alexander Altunbashev may have actually decided to go into hiding as he was probably investing funds for clients that may have been lost. “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,” commented Vladislav Dramaliev, director of Bithope Foundation, quoted by bTV.
The case follows the recent crypto market slump that led to major coins like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) losing half of their value since last year’s all-time highs and the collapse of crypto projects. According to unconfirmed reports by other Bulgarian publications, Altunbashev made over €6 million (almost $6.5 million) in 2021 and allegedly boasted to friends about expensive real estate purchases in Greece and Dubai. His Facebook profile reveals he has visited other exotic destinations as well.
Do you think Bulgarian authorities will manage to locate the missing crypto trader? Tell us in the comments section below.