A Brazilian judge ruled that the CEO of Miller Trading International should remain in preventive detention because the South African authorities had already submitted the necessary documents for extradition to his Brazilian counterpart. The judge also ruled that the preventive detention should be terminated. The judge also rejected Johan Steinberg’s attempt to use his Brazilian family as a basis for seeking to end his preventive detention.
Steynberg’s paperwork for formal extradition
A Brazilian judge recently rejected an application to revoke the preventive detention of Johann Steynberg, the ringleader of one of South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency scams, Mirror Trading International (MTI), and in his application, the chief executive officer of MTI stated that he was “not aware of any formal extradition request being made. reportedly argued that since no formal extradition request had been made, the court should at least place him under house arrest.
Steenberg also argued that when he left South Africa in December 2020, no warrant had been issued for his arrest and that the case itself did not meet certain requirements that would allow extradition. It was also pointed out that house arrest was sufficient because Steinberg subsequently started a family in Brazil, as stated in documents released by the Brazilian judicial authorities.
However, in its rulingJudge Andre Mendonça of the Brazilian Supreme Court rejected the arguments submitted by Steinberg. The judge found that the South African authorities had in fact “submitted documents [on April 14, 2022] to formalize the extradition request.”
In addition, the judge noted that Steinberg’s arrest warrant was also “issued by the South African judiciary on 03/01/2022, as evidenced by the Interpol red proliferation document.” The document, allegedly sent by the South African Department of Public Affairs, suggested that MTI’s CEO was being investigated for his role in the bitcoin scam as he was leaving the country.
Steynberg is a flight risk
As Bitcoin.com News previously reported, before disappearing in late 2020, Steynberg handed control of MTI funds to his wife Nerina. However, by the time he was arrested by Brazilian law enforcement in December 2021, the former MTI ringleader was reportedly having an affair with a Brazilian woman.
Addressing Steinberg’s attempt to use his intimate relationship with an unnamed woman as justification for blocking his extradition, Mendonça stated.
The fact that the person being extradited resides in Brazil and has formed a family does not, by itself, preclude preventive arrest and future extradition. As the Attorney General’s Office often points out, “the rule of extradition is preventive arrest because of mutual respect between jurisdictions. The person being extradited is considered incarcerated in your country of origin, should it be repeated.
The judge added that the fact that Steinberg had a false identity at the time of his arrest made it likely that he had “the intent to avoid possible criminal liability.” The judge’s ruling also suggests that Steinberg could still violate the terms of his house arrest if the court complies with his request for house arrest.
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons