WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A crypto millionaire received threatening messages a week before children discovered a suitcase on the banks of a river that contained his dismembered body parts.
"I’m going to kill you, I’m going to do something worse to you," a man said in a voice message to Fernando Pérez Algaba. "I’m going to gouge out your eyes and cut off your hands so that you can’t have any more money in your life."
"I swear on my children that I have no problem going to jail," the man, identified only by his surname Iglesias by Argentinian outlet Télam, said.
A group of children in Argentina made a chilling discovery when they found a suitcase while playing near a stream and opened it up to reveal dismembered body parts. Police had only the arms and legs to work with initially, but they were able to use tattoos and fingerprints to identify the victim.
Police in Buenos Aires determined they were parts from the body of Algaba, a 41-year-old cryptocurrency influencer and entrepreneur who had gone missing July 18. Algaba’s head floated downstream in a rucksack a few days later, Metro reported.
Police further determined Algaba had been shot three times and that his limbs had been "cleanly" amputated, which they suggested only an experienced criminal could accomplish. Officers arrested one suspect for the alleged murder.
Algaba had reportedly piled up "irrecoverable" debts with Argentina’s tax agency and allegedly ran into trouble with the Barra Bravas gang, which claimed he owed $40,000 on a loan. He also reportedly owed Iglesias’ son $70,000, which he was trying to reclaim from Algaba.
In subsequent messages and calls reviewed by police, one of which lasted 20 minutes, Iglesias warned Algaba they would soon "see each other face to face" and blasted Algaba as "not good people because you ruined my son," who had to medicate himself after being "swindled" by Algaba.
"You betrayed me, and you caught me. I have a poison with you that I hate you," Iglesias said in another message.
Another communication with a man known as Adrian Tesei informed Algaba they had an issue because the investor had told Tesei his money was "here" but then failed to deliver it.
"I’m not threatening you," Tesei claimed. "I’m telling you that I’m going to rip off your head. The money is mine, and you don’t play with mine."
Algaba claimed to have started as a pizza delivery boy working "with a bicycle and a box" selling sandwiches before turning his fortune trading on the Forex platform and gaining cryptocurrency. He then moved to Miami to build a car and jet ski rental company.
Algaba had taken up residence in Barcelona, Spain, but he had visited his homeland Argentina for the week preceding his murder. He had rented an apartment and failed to return the keys or answer his phone when the landlord tried to find out what had happened, the New York Post reported.
One of Algaba’s associates told Télam Algaba had developed a gambling addiction that only got worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, which drove him into a hole as he kept buying cryptocurrency despite his growing debts.