SAN SALVADOR, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Salvadoran police on Wednesday briefly detained a digital specialist who’s a vocal critic of President Nayib Bukele’s plan to make bitcoin a authorized tender, saying they had been investigating the pc scientist for monetary fraud.
The police detained Mario Gomez with out an arrest warrant and the cryptocurrency commentator was taken away with out being formally arrested, based on Gomez’s lawyer, Otto Flores. He has since been returned to his home.
“It isn’t clear why (Mario) was handcuffed…and was taken away by the police with out figuring out what he’s being accused of,” Flores mentioned, describing the detention as “arbitrary”.
There was a heated debate inside El Salvador about Bukele’s plan to undertake bitcoin as authorized tender on Tuesday, making the Central American nation the primary on this planet to take action.
El Salvador’s police mentioned on Twitter they had been investigating Gomez “for crimes of monetary fraud, associated to false emails despatched to many customers of the banking system, the place their account statements have been compromised.”
Such crimes had been on the rise, the police mentioned, with out elaborating.
Gomez had attended varied digital boards and was energetic on social media, arguing towards the introduction of bitcoin as a young.
Critics say utilizing bitcoin is dangerous given the cryptocurrency’s volatility and since it might be used to launder cash.
On social media some touted Gomez’s arrest as one other instance of Bukele’s authorities utilizing authoritarian techniques towards opponents. Even so, Bukele is vastly well-liked in opinion polls.
The presidency didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for remark. (Reporting by Nelson Renteria, Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Modifying by David Gregorio)