The crypto millionaire who was found dismembered in a suitcase in Argentina reportedly received messages threatening to cut out his eyes and chop off his hands in the week before he was killed.
Fernando PÃ©rez Algaba’s body was discovered by a group of children in the town of Ingeniero Budge over the weekend. The businessman and influencer had been reported missing on July 18.
“Iâm going to kill you, Iâm going to do something worse to you,” a man said in a menacing voice message to Algaba before he vanished. “Iâm going to gouge out your eyes and cut off your hands so that you canât have any more money in your life.”
“I swear on my children that I have no problem going to jail,” said the man, who was identified only by his surname Iglesias, according to Argentinian outlet TÃ©lam.
Police are investigating the murder after the children made the grisly discovery. Only Algabaâs arms and legs were initially found in the suitcase, but he was identified by his fingerprints and a tattoo on his torso, which was found with his head days later.
An autopsy revealed that Algaba had been shot three times before his body was dismembered. The body parts were cleanly amputated, suggesting the work of a professional, local media reported.
Algaba had amassed his fortune renting high-end vehicles and selling cryptocurrency and flashed his luxury lifestyle to his 900,000 plus Instagram followers.
He reportedly racked up âirrecoverableâ debts with Argentina’s tax agency and ran into trouble with a notorious local gang, which demanded $40,000.
Algaba also owed Iglesiasâ son $70,000 that he wanted back, according to the report.
Additional voicemails Iglesias left for Algaba, one of which lasted a full 20 minutes, he tells the influencer that the two “see each other face to face.â
“You betrayed me, and you caught me. I have a poison with you that I hate you,” Iglesias said in another message.
Another man identified as Adrian Tesei told Algaba separately that the two had an issue because an investor told Tesei his money had been delivered when it wasnât.
“Iâm not threatening you,” Tesei told Algaba. “Iâm telling you that Iâm going to rip off your head. The money is mine, and you donât play with mine.”
A source close to Algaba told TÃ©lam that he had developed a gambling problem that was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he kept buying up cryptocurrency as he sank into the red.
Algaba had also left a note on his phone claiming that heâd lost a lot of money investing in crypto, La Nacion reported.
âIf something happens to me, everyone is already warned,â he wrote in a message.
The influencer, who lived in Barcelona, Spain, had reportedly been staying in Argentina for a week prior to his alleged murder.
Police have arrested one suspect in connection with Algabaâs death.