Joaquín Gadea, magistrate of the national audience, suspends the failure to appear of the heads of the company Kuailian, David Ruiz and Cristian Albeiro, after refusing to allow them to testify via videoconference from Abu Dhabi, where they are currently located. An alleged pyramid scheme that has left more than 65,000 people affected and 500 million euros in losses.
Following the non-appearance of the two people in charge, some of the representatives of those affected are preparing written pleadings to ask the judge for search and arrest warrants against the two people in charge.
This Wednesday, the reinforcement magistrate of the Central Court of Instruction number 6 issued an order in which he maintained the summons and assured that, if they did not declare, a hearing would be held in which the accusations could request their imprisonment or provisional release with or without precautionary measures.
Thus, Gadea dismissed an appeal for reform presented by both investigated in which they asked to testify by videoconference or another similar system from the Spanish Embassy in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). It should be recalled that their first summons, scheduled for 27 May, had to be suspended after the defence of both men pointed out that their clients were suffering from a state of "anxiety".
This request was based on personal reasons and they justified that they had "an alleged indisposition that could not even be assessed by the forensic doctor, as the aforementioned were not even in Spain, not even leaving the United Arab Emirates".
"Having analysed the precedents and having seen the request, it appears to be rather obstructive and hindering the ordered concatenation of the procedural actions of this investigation, and it can be understood (...) that the exceptional and subsidiary measure now requested does not meet the need, for reasons of public utility and the interest of the State in the exercise of ius puniendi, to guarantee the presence of the two investigated persons in the judicial headquarters before the competent authority for the investigation", the judge maintained.
Evasion of prosecution
For the magistrate Gadea, the attitude of both of those under investigation in this case "allows us to infer serious indications of a desire to evade judicial action, which would justify the necessary presence of both, even to clear up any hint of the personal situation in which those responsible for Kuailian must be left", "whose link to the process due to the criminal evidence weighing on them is unquestionable at this moment in time".
The judge pointed out in the order that a remote statement, "without a prior request from the competent authorities by means of the corresponding rogatory commission and in circumstances" that could be described as informal, "would not guarantee the rights of contradiction and defence inherent to criminal proceedings".
Therefore, he explained, his request to testify by videoconference "should be dismissed, as there is no way of attesting to the validity of the act and ensuring the effective enjoyment of the procedural rights of those under investigation in conditions suitable for their exercise, as the validity of the proceedings will depend, in essence, on this".
The victims of this alleged pyramid scheme were denounced before the Audiencia Nacional for acts that could be considered as crimes of fraud, money laundering, misrepresentation and crimes against the Public Treasury. In the April 2021 order that initiated the judicial investigation, the magistrate explained that four defendants created Kuailian, a cryptocurrency investment system based in Estonia but operating from Spain. This is a case that, for the moment, is under secrecy.
The accused advertised their platform through social networks, where they offered a product called 'kuais' with a 1,000-day contract. Interested parties invested in 'kuais' with the cryptocurrency 'ethereum', although they had to have a wallet with this type of alternative currency beforehand.
A massive recruitment network
The clients themselves recruited new members, receiving a commission of 10% of the revenue generated by the new recruits. This generated "an exponential network of mass recruitment that has brought an indeterminate number of people to the platform".
"The attraction of new investors would feed the base of the pyramid, allowing the restitution and payment of profits to the initial investors, without the operation responding to a real business," said the instructor.
Those affected claim that there was a breach of the agreed conditions and that they were being denied reimbursement of the agreed returns. "It is reported that they have requested the return of the amount of virtual currency invested, with no response from the company's management," they add.