Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

CEO of criminal encryption company hid $80 million

Ciro for Borderland Beat from Vancouver Sun

U.S. seeks to seize assets of  criminal who aided international traffickers--Read Borderland Beat's previous coverage by using this link and this link

Richmond resident Vincent Ramos’s underworld nicknames were “CEO” and “Business.” He was so successful in providing encrypted BlackBerries and other electronic devices to organized criminals that he raked in $80 million during his decade running Phantom Secure.

Now the U.S. wants to seize tens of millions of dollars worth of his assets.

The U.S. Attorney in San Diego has filed a claim against Ramos’ bank accounts, investments and real estate holdings around the world.

Ramos is set to be sentenced in California next month after pleading guilty last fall to a racketeering charge for assisting international drug traffickers. At the time, he agreed to a forfeiture of his abundant assets.

On Tuesday, court documents were filed listing specific items that will be part of a forfeiture order, including gold and silver coins, crypto currency, a Las Vegas condo and two Richmond properties.
The U.S. also wants “money, funds and credits” from 30 different bank accounts linked to Ramos. Some are in his own name and some in the name of his Phantom Secure Encryption company or other companies he set up.

There are local accounts in Coast Capital Savings, the Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank and TD. There are six U.S. accounts in the Bank of America, plus another in JP Morgan Chase. There are another four accounts in banks in Hong Kong, two in China, two in Ireland, one in Singapore and one in the United Arab Emirates.

For some of the accounts, the U.S. Attorney lists a specific dollar amount. For others, the court documents simply state that the U.S. wants all the assets within the account.

The U.S. also wants to keep the contents of Ramos’s Beverly Hills’ vault including $101,080 in U.S. currency, 19 gold Eagle coins and seven gold Buffalo coins.

And the U.S. Attorney wants items in a safety deposit box at JPMorgan Chase in Los Angeles, including another $86,450 U.S., 100 silver bricks, four Canadian $50 dollar coins and four Mexican 50 Peso coins.

A large amount of crypto currency in Ramos accounts at nine different companies is also listed in the forfeiture application.

Also included is a one-bedroom condo in a Las Vegas tower, $751,400 in proceeds from the sale of a Richmond house, and an attached lot sold last April for a total of $1,550,000.

Though a total value is not listed for the assets identified in the forfeiture application, the court document says the proceeds “shall be credited against the total forfeiture amount of $80,000,000.”

As part of his October plea deal, Ramos admitted that he and his associates helped distribute cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine to locations in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Mexico, Thailand and Europe.

Ramos, who lived with his family in Richmond until his arrest in March 2018, maintained Phantom Secure servers in Panama and Hong Kong — hidden behind virtual proxy servers — and even remotely wiped data from devices seized by law enforcement.

Ramos and his co-conspirators would only sell devices to customers who had a personal reference from an existing client. And Ramos used digital currencies, including bitcoin, to facilitate financial transactions for Phantom Secure to protect users’ anonymity and launder proceeds from Phantom Secure.

The 42-year-old Canadian admitted that at least 450 kilograms of cocaine were distributed by people using Phantom Secure devices.

Ramos’s co-defendants — Kim Augustus Rodd, Younes Nasri, Michael Gamboa and Christopher Poquiz — remain international fugitives.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail, but the plea agreement states that U.S. authorities won’t oppose his transfer to a Canadian prison after he’s served at least five years south of the border.

Ramos founded Phantom Secure Communications in Vancouver in 2008. The company then branched out to the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Panama, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Criminal Complaint Chivis Martinez Scribd


  1. Canadian government is easy on criminality.

  2. Excellent. Get those assets and liquidate to the highest bidder. Use the $ to help the displaced from the narco war intrusion into Mexico.

    1. The only ones who will receive $ will be those politicians pockets from both countries. Financial support for humanitarian aid have always been misappropriated for all other nonessential purposes.

    2. on....that money goes from the criminal to the US gov...aka the biggest criminals. Ramos just bought the DEA, DOJ, and IRS jefes new cars, jewelry, and vacation mansions in the Hamptons. They have to keep the poor poor. The greed of the Narco is only surpassed by the greed of politicians. Such is the way of the world.

    3. ok Joey we just do that
      u see those military style the cops have

      all out gear of swat

      what it buys
      and the coiffure
      of uncle Sam

      he be ok

      he hid away for RAINY day

    4. Saludos Granderojo.

      As always, your honesty and truthfulness of the American misappropriated trust towards what American policies should consist of. And not those which contradict Our American values.


    5. 5:19 the letters are no pendejos, the billions and billions they cost are paid cash by the US government but charged to the credit card of the American people, money and property confiscated from narcos don't even start paying for the cost, or bite the business on the ass, banks are hit for about 10% of the money they launder once in a while, but the executives can't be prosecuted.
      Then banks hit the government for loans, subsidies, payments for money lost, by the billions of dollars, on their word mostly.

  3. I am opposed to having latino billionaires dirty laundry exposed out here for all to see,
    people start asking me for a loan everywhere I go, they are thinking I am a narco or a money launderer.

    1. Can I hold something? I’ll pay you when I get my taxes.

  4. The future of money cryptocurrency.. You guys need verified BORDERLANDBEAT on the BRAVE BROWSERS so we could donate to your hardwork you do here check the BRAVE BROWSERS.

  5. Hahaha aah, eso se sacan por andar ahi de calientes con sus pinchis blackberries...
    LUCKY Hillary got rid of hers with a hammer and her broom, nobody ain't finding her 30 000 e-mails, ever, not even Bladdermir Putin.

  6. Another one that will serve time in prison, and also losing his assets. He will come out a poor man.

    1. 7:16 este guey si llego al bote bien cogido,
      most people get out of prison bien cogidos
      pero este si les madrugo,

  7. Sounds like a legitimate business.

    1. If encryption were only the issue.
      Guess no government but themselves can be allowed to possess.

    2. yes it was
      he got charge for drug shipment
      it state that above

  8. Good luck from seizing money from banks in China. An uncooperative country when it comes to indicting its citizens for offenses in the US.
    This problematic situation for US law enforcement with the fentanyl production and shipments from China continues to flood death.
    60 minutes report this past weekend displayed the gross negligence to assist.


    1. The American Corporations that offshored their production plants to China because of the low production costs due to the Chinese communist slave labor are sorry now, the tax incentives and subsidies are not there to repatriate their assets the Chinese use now to pirate their "intelecshual" property and stick their producshun up their "S", drugs are part of their prerogatives,
      not to be messed with.

    2. E42, either the drug pushers got smarter or they have weakened the Fetty in China because overdoses are wayyyy down since last year. The sad part is most junkies want straight Fetty now. They are willing to risk death for that high.

    3. Of course. You see, the US can only bully weak and unstable Latin American countries into 'cooperating' them in this inane War on Drugs. Anytime they run into a state with the enough geopolitical weight, they can't do anything more than stomp their feet about in impotent rage.

    4. Interesting comment 4:04

      A serious problem for United States of America now when it came to financially secure those individuals for bigger profits. With no acceptance of responsibility for doing so. Other than the discontent of those whose intellectual properties have been compromised.
      Moreover, how all other mail / cargo carriers (FedEx ect) have complied to regulatory requirements of Chinese goods for inspection. While the United states postal system has yet to comply. Resulting with thousands of deaths from fentanyl coming from China. A 2 year overdue implementation.
      Such hypocrisy and distrust when it comes to US regulatory reform process.


    5. @2:51

      And that's why Russian military/ government officials are present in Venezuela. Russia has a vested interest involved with Venezuela. A 18 billion dollar loan agreement for its oil. Added with another 8 billion in military aid to Venezuela.
      If America has it's way that loan agreement would be voided.


  9. This guy is an idiot to still be living in the U.S. doing this. You can’t beat the NSA. He would have been better off in a non extradition country. Bet you anything he had far more assets then the government knows about. However, fuck this guy for working with cartels. He got what he deserved.


  10. Hahahaha America is a joke

  11. Can someone answer this question? If this guy would have just kept it legit and not talk about the drug dealings with his clients, would he still be in trouble? Are encrypted phones illegal? Or is it because he chose to openly talk about using them for selling drugs.

    1. At 20 000 or 25 000 prices, these were no Obama phones,
      something had to give, the cops know more and are always more, they just wait to see where the money, then they whack the marranos when they decide they are listos.

    2. even if its not, the us just has to throw words in its redactions like "patriotism" "must" "oil" etc and its citizens will think it is.

    3. My opinion is if he didn't know what this technology was going to be used for along with where company is licensed from. Maybe? A legitimate reason for litigation in the US courts.
      Quite sure every country has their own regulatory policies which can be an issue for other countries to prosecute.

      However, keep in mind that national security agency has been known to bully those countries with retaliation (sanctions, freezing bank accounts for certain individuals of political powers, ect).
      Look at Venezuela. The dire situation which is affecting its citizens are due in part to US interests.

    4. the was high IQ
      smart guy volkes

      he change the operating system
      if you read above carefully

      massive undertaking
      can you remember five things u did last
      how many accounts?
      this was a secret company for incognito
      under ground
      servers on four continents

      inevitably he get busted

      one person got nabbed
      told fbi how it works

      not goin to explain
      what already written
      now I know what chivis goes through

      to wipe phone clean on another continent
      to control all drives
      company in richmond

      he made over 500 million
      not small time

      can anyone read
      or just love askin stupid question
      it so easy to
      highly sophisticated

      never gone across his time n come home..
      why BlackBerry had problems
      arab country wanted the server to control still the best phone.well encrypted..unlike apple who give usa govt access

    5. encryption are not one ever heard of black berry 1999 biggest phone ever before apple

      when narco order.he replace board with homemade company
      own server
      get it
      looks normal but was run on own.ios

    6. @12:45, thank you for that insight. Venezuela is just a sad situation all around. I think the US is pulling the strings behind the scenes to cause this
      Current situation. Sometimes, I don’t understand why we want to be everyone’s “savior”.

    7. The US never receives a share of the profits NSA, CIA, FBI, DEA or other agencies hell US capitalistas or US Russian Puppets accumulate, not even after footing the bill for all their years of wars for profit all over the world, they Don't even pay taxes!!!

    8. #3;36
      The US like other countries have special interests around the globe.
      Geopolitical reasons and money have always been the root of many conflicts abroad. Evidence clearly demonstrates US positions where humanitarian crisis are most direly needed. Yet many of those countries continue to suffer because of lack of financial purposes.
      Leaving many of those to flee and fend for themselves.


    9. @3:36
      Far from saviors. Rather, beneficial!

    10. And to think after so many American soldiers who perished in the Iraq war, Russia is arming the Iraqis with an air-defense system.
      Such a slap in the face for American interests.

      What's going on with our American politicians who can't sell democratic ideology. Such a shame to have overthrown a dictator to only hand it over to our emissaries.


  12. So the narcos in mexico still use blackberry, regardless if their encrypted or not what gives?

    1. 5:40 now let it be known Blackberry Sekurity was all a myth and state sponsored propaganda from the Canadian government.
      Mophakkkas must have been monitoring the every move deal sale and payment from the start, while we all thought the RCMP only picked up their horse dung after persecuting Canadian Indians.

    2. Blackberries are well known for their inability to be intercepted and broken into. This in part to officially licensed in Canada.

    3. Canadians even arrested some high executive Chinese and are planning to extradite her to the US for a more complete blackmail.
      Eso se saca por andar ahi de caliente.

    4. @7:43
      The only reason of such apprehension was in part from US government pressure. In other words; putting Canada in a position of retaliation consequences if not in compliance.


  13. all us canadien knew BlackBerry unbreakable
    only only they did not
    make too many crappy screen
    7 different phone
    instead doin apple style
    one phone
    wait..dude man live down the road..he made millions, more you make
    more u must maintain
    chapo IT boy start talking..he made mistake
    traveling into usa airspace...when BlackBerry was king

    I still have original BlackBerry..
    mister Ramos very smart in deed
    to pull this off
    you gotta know when to stop.period

    1. Stop before you start thinking about it.

    2. Has anyone wondered why BlackBerry sales are not highly available today in the US? Because US lawmakers along with those giant phone companies (Apple, Samsung) did comply with certain US regulations. Pushing the Canadian phone manufacturer out of business in the US.

      Food for thought.


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