In what some see as yet another cautionary tale, the recent tragic killing of teenage Brazilian crypto trader Wesley Pessano Santarem has been linked to the lavish lifestyle the victim had been showcasing on his social media accounts – reminding crypto holders of the importance of safeguarding not only their funds, but their lives.
The 19-year-old has gained a significant following on Instagram, where he had amassed about 134,000 followers. He also ran an account on YouTube where he published videos in which he offered investment advice.
Pessano was gunned down in broad daylight. He was rolling in his Porsche Boxster sports car through the streets of Sao Pedro da Aldeia, a city in Brazil’s south-eastern state of Rio de Janeiro, to get a haircut, as reported by The Independent, when he was ambushed by a group of killers who travelled in a silver Volkswagen.
A second passenger who sat in his Porsche was injured in the shooting and later transported to a hospital. The Brazilian police said Passano was hit by a minimum of four bullets, one of which was a headshot. An investigation into the murder has been initiated.
Claiming to have secured financial freedom at the age of 18, Pessano often portrayed himself driving luxury cars, among others a Chevrolet Camaro and a Mercedes-Benz automobile. On one of the pictures, the trader was seen ‘talking’ on the so-called money phone, pretending to be making a call from a thick stack of cash. This type of photos, as is argued, may have potentially attracted unwanted attention to Pessano’s finances.
The latest violent event joins a worrying string of gruesome attacks on crypto traders that has been observed worldwide.
Last January, a trader in Hong Kong was robbed of nearly half a million dollars worth of bitcoin (BTC). A Norwegian trader was forced to jump from a window of his house last year when an armed man showed up at his door. The same year in the Netherlands, crypto community was shocked by a brutal robbery attempt in which three armed robbers with police vests broke into a residential building and tortured a 38-year-old trader for over an hour using a drill. In 2018, a Norwegian trader was found dead in his apartment in Oslo after selling bitcoins to another person for cash.
And these are just a few of many reported attacks, threatening crypto traders’/holders’ personal safety. It is not clear how many crypto-related attacks or attempted attacks have gone unreported.
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