“You almost certainly won’t be arrested… I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
That’s what the lawyer said.
And in the same breath telling me I should wear loose, comfortable clothing… he also advised wearing a sweater.
“Why would I need a sweater in the summer?” I asked.
“In case I’m wrong,” he answered. “If you end up sleeping in a jail cell tonight, you can use the sweater as a pillow.”
Sitting next to me in the hotel suite, a longtime contact and friend leaned over and whispered into my ear: He could have a car ready to smuggle me out of the country in six hours.
It was tempting. I had no interest in going to jail. But I also didn’t want to be a fugitive.
How the heck had I gotten myself into this position?
Completely by accident…
You see, I was on a research trip in Russia. And through my network of crypto experts and industry insiders, I managed to snag a much-coveted plus-one invite to the most exclusive meeting of tech startup founders in Eastern Europe.
The entire event is limited to just 100 attendees. And I was a guest of one of them.
I had to go through a vetting process that included a background check, references, samples of my writing—the whole nine yards. Even with all that, I still wasn’t allowed to attend the actual talks.
I was granted access to the pre- and post-conference events only. But that didn’t bother me too much because the whole conference was in Russian.
Besides, I always get my best intel at parties and social events. So I was excited to rub elbows with the elite of Russia’s tech world.
Along with tech entrepreneurs, the event was stuffed with venture capitalists and private equity investors. In fact, it was a Russian-born U.S. bulge bracket private equity investor who would come to my rescue (more on that later).
The point is, I had to be there. It was the most exclusive event of the year, and I knew I’d find some amazing new crypto ideas for my readers. The only problem was: This year, the event was taking place in the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus…
Trapped Behind the Former Iron Curtain
Belarus is a landlocked nation in Eastern Europe. Roughly the size of Kansas, it declared independence from Soviet Russia in 1991.
Recently, the country lifted its visa restrictions for Americans, so I thought I’d be fine. But I was wrong.
You see, I was flying into the capital, Minsk, from Moscow. And Belarus has a completely open border with Russia.
I didn’t know this.
So you can imagine my surprise when I flew into Minsk National Airport and there was no immigration control of any kind. I just walked right off the plane and out to the terminal.
It wasn’t until I tried to check into my hotel that I discovered I’d entered Belarus illegally.
Apparently, if you’re American and fly into Belarus from Russia, you must have a special visa.
Who knew? Certainly not I.
The hotel’s desk clerk angrily shook his finger at me and stated, “You are in my country illegally.” He wouldn’t let me check in and was about to call the police. It was late in the evening, and the thought of getting arrested on a Friday night wasn’t appealing.
I pled my ignorance with the desk clerk, and he finally relented and allowed me to check in. I had to swear on a stack of Bibles to turn myself into the police the next morning.
Long story short, after consulting with a lawyer and turning down my friend’s offer to smuggle me out of the country, I turned myself in to the local police.
The Russian bulge bracket investor I’d met the day before graciously offered to act as my interpreter.
Much to my relief, the officer I dealt with was stern, but fair. He believed me when I said I’d made an honest mistake.
After signing a sheaf of papers in Russian (I still don’t know exactly what I signed)… and paying four different fines (at two different locations, one of which had to be a state-owned bank)… and securing travel insurance (from a state-run insurance company)… I finally had all the paperwork needed to receive the elusive Belarusian visa.
But by the time I got back with all my paperwork (2 p.m. on a Saturday), the police station was closed.
There was no way I could stay in or leave the country without a visa.
I was trapped in one of those bureaucratic nightmares that can see people languishing in jail for weeks. Just recently, an American citizen was held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the U.S.-Mexico border for three weeks. And that was an American in America.
What would they do to an American staying illegally in Belarus?
The officer had warned me if I didn’t come back, he’d put me in the national computer database and report me as a fugitive. Like a man possessed, I started running around the police building, knocking on windows.
No one answered.
As I came back around to the front of the building, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The same officer who had helped me earlier was going into the building. I yelled to get his attention and sprinted over to him, waving my paperwork.
He actually smiled as if he was shocked I’d managed to fulfill all of the insane bureaucratic requirements. He examined my paperwork and invited me in. Thirty minutes later, I was the proud owner of a brand-new Belarusian travel visa.
Crisis averted. I wasn’t going to jail. But guess what?
It Was Worth the Opportunity
Even if I’d known the trouble I would get into… I still would’ve done it.
Why? Because the crypto ideas I find for my readers are absolutely worth the risk of jail time.
You can’t find life-altering investments pinned behind a desk, thumbing through financial reports. You have to travel the world, meet the players, and look people in the eye if you want to dig up great ideas before anyone else.
It’s what separates what I do from every other newsletter in the business. And today, I want to offer you a chance to join me.
You see, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, I’m holding my first crypto training session of the year. It’s called 5 Coins to $5 Million.
During the special broadcast, I’ll share my latest research with you—including why wealthy investors are preparing for a rare crypto market phenomenon 100% guaranteed to happen.
The moment you register, you’ll have instant access to additional crypto research typically only available to my subscribers, like why this little-known phenomenon won’t happen again for over four years.
Plus, I’ll even give you the name of the top crypto on my buy list right now.
Whether I have to go through the highlands of Colombia with armed guards or risk jail time in Belarus… I’ll go anywhere it takes to find the best ideas I can to help you make as much money as possible.
So I’m inviting you to join me on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for this special event. You won’t want to miss it.
Let the Game Come to You!
Editor, Palm Beach Daily