Has Sam Bankman-Fried escaped to Argentina after FTX collapse? What we know

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On the morning of Saturday, November 12, reports and rumors surfaced on social media that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has reportedly left his residence in the Bahamas and boarded a private plane to Argentina.

Bankman-Fried, better known by his acronym SBF, is estimated to have lost $17 billion in assets in the last week following the collapse of his exchange platform.

According to different reports, a Gulfstream G450 with registration LV-KEB took off from Nassau airport in the Bahamas, bound for the aircraft’s country of registration, Argentina.

According to Flightradar, the G450 landed at San Fernando airport (although it indicates it arrived at El Palomar) at 3:34am local time. The aircraft tracking app also reported that the flight was the most followed flight of the day on the platform.

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While SBF escaping from Bahamas is a plausible story, one possibility is that the aircraft owned by Emes Air may have been carrying passengers related to its controlling company, Grupo Emes.

Grupo Emes, founded by Marcelo Mindlin and controlling company of Pampa Energía, one of Argentina’s largest investment conglomerates, was authorized by the Argentine aeronautical authority to conduct non-scheduled operations in April of this year.

One of its partners -currently with a 2% shareholding- is Joe Lewis, a U.S. billionaire who has taken up residence in Lyford Cay, Bahamas. Lewis owns vast amounts of land in Argentine Patagonia: in September of this year and through a court ruling, he had to open a public access road to Lago Escondido, located in the province of Río Negro. Lewis bought 30.000 acres surrounding the lake and closed the access to the water mirror, something prohibited by Argentine law.

As an additional fact, the plane flew from Patagonia to Buenos Aires on November 3 and from Argentina to Bahamas on November 5, so the possibility of a transfer of Lewis or some executive linked to the company is high.

At the moment, there are no confirmations about the passengers who arrived at the Argentinean airport.

This is a developing story.

Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Director Editorial de Aviacionline. Ante todo, data-driven.

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