When are people going to realize that cryptocurrency scams are never a good idea? You’re always going to get caught. This is a lesson that’s hitting Instagram influencer Aziz ‘Com’ Mizra rather hard at press time.
Mizra Is Spending Time in Jail
A one-time Canadian resident now living in the United Arab Emirates, Mizra has been arrested in Dubai by law enforcement officials under charges that he potentially defrauded investors through several cryptocurrency and real-estate schemes that saw customers lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Among the projects that Mizra was looking to garner investors for was the real estate-backed digital coin Habibi Coin, once labeled as the “bitcoin of the Middle East.” The currency is now considered completely worthless.
Mizra was arrested on October 27 and is being held at Al Awir jail in Dubai. According to separate sources, Mizra has described himself in the past as a “serial entrepreneur, mentor, influencer and philanthropist.” His capture occurred after a citizen of the UAE claimed that they had lost more than $100,000 in one of his present ventures.
Despite his capture, however, it appears Mizra was very good at evading law enforcement, as police and other security agencies have been after him for roughly six months. Back in April of 2019, it was reported that Mizra had gotten several people to invest in the phony Habibi Coin. The currency never produced any returns and is now defunct, meaning everyone who invested their funds have wound up with empty pockets.
The scheme was similar with that of a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO). This investing method has lost a lot of steam over the past year considering that many thieves and phony businesses have utilized its investing model as a means of making off with cash that wasn’t theirs.
The process works as such: a startup enters an ICO and sells a token to investors in exchange for funds that will ultimately be used to get the business going. In return, the investors are given the company’s official currency, which can be utilized to access the startup’s products and services.
Sadly, many of these companies disappear within a short period, usually for two reasons. The first is that they simply don’t raise enough money to get things going. They fail in terms of garnering the capital they need, and thus can never open their doors for business.
Why the ICO Has Failed
However, the second reason is that executives behind the startup had criminal intent and set up the ICO as a means of stealing investors’ funds and making off with them before anyone realizes what’s happening.
It has been suggested that many of Mizra’s victims were members of the Muslim Entrepreneur Network (MEN), an online community that’s been around since 2015.