A crypto multi-millionaire with links to Spain has been found chopped up in a suitcase over a massive debt was killed by three men who have been seized by police in Argentina.
The mutilated body of missing Fernando Perez Algaba, 41, was found by a group of children playing by a stream in Ingeniero Budge, Argentina, on 23rd July.
Police said he had been shot three times before being butchered with the pieces packed neatly into a suitcase, a backpack and a plastic bag.
Prosecutors believe the heavily inked tycoon – who had nearly a million followers on Instagram – had been lured to his death by associates who owed him money.
Algaba – reported local media – thought he was going to be paid but instead, the three suspects intended to kill him.
The police named the trio as Luis Alberto Contreras, Matias Ezequiel Gil and Fernando Gaston Carrizo.
Two further suspects Maximiliano Pilepich, 45, and Nahuel Vargas, 43 – believed to have masterminded the killing – are said to be on the run.
To his devoted Instagram followers, Algaba had a playboy lifestyle of luxury cars, jet skis and VIP parties.
But some of his posts revealed a darker side with a series of cryptic messages about “evil people” who repaid kindness with hate.
Police say Algaba – nicknamed ‘Lechuga’, or ‘Lettuce’ – was killed between 6:00pm on 18th July and 3:00am the next day.
Prosecutors say he had gone to a meeting with the suspects where he believed he was going to be repaid a “massive debt.”
Instead, they say, he was shot and butchered and his body parts driven away in one of the suspect’s GBP 170,000 Mercedes G500 4X4.
Police say the two runaway suspects had previously given statements that they had met Algaba and paid off the debt.
But they discovered secret a phone recording where they are allegedly heard saying they cannot repay the money.
Pilepich and Vargas are accused of “quadruply aggravated homicide for its commission with a firearm, for treachery, greed and committed by the premeditated aid of several people in a real aid with false testimony.”
Police reportedly seized weapons, mobile phones, electronic devices, and various vehicles during the raid.
Prosecutors told local media: “We believe that the Mercedes Benz was used to transfer the remains of Perez Algaba to the Ingeniero Budge stream.”
Algaba was reported missing by a tenant who told the authorities she was due to meet him on 19th July to hand back the keys to an apartment but he did not show up.
The body-building businessman described himself as an investor who also sold and rented luxury vehicles.
He had been living in Miami, USA, until early this year, when he travelled to Spain and shortly before his killing, he had returned to Argentina.
Before his death, Algaba had made a series of disturbing posts on social media.
One of them showed the businessman in a car saying: “It’s incredible how there are such evil people in the world that while you’re thinking of helping them, they’re thinking of destroying you.”
And in another message, he said: “Hello, mum, I needed to clear my head as always. And from here, I am realising two things: that we can’t escape from problems and that problems will follow us.”
According to local media, Algaba had a rags-to-riches story.
He started selling sandwiches aged 14 but later made a fortune investing in cryptocurrencies and the stock market.
By the time he was 24, Algaba was trading luxury cars with a huge warehouse full of high-end vehicles.
He once said in an interview: “I travelled to Paraguay a lot to buy tyres; they were much cheaper than in Argentina.
“This allowed me to refurbish the cars and resell them at a better price.”
But his businesses – reported local media – left a trail of debts, fraud and tax-dodging accusations.