John McAfee’s final hideout: Tech outlaw holed up in Spanish ‘ghost hotel’ with secret Bitcoin mining operation while claiming to be jetting around Europe
- McAfee spent the final months before his October arrest in a strange hotel
- It was impossible to book a room at the hotel, where no one answered phones
- Hotel was raided in 2018 after Russian oligarch installed a laser on the roof
- Cops discovered a secret Bitcoin mining operation running in the basement
- Web sleuths tracked McAfee to the hotel using images on his social media
John McAfee, the outlaw antivirus pioneer who died in a Spanish prison on Wednesday, spend his final months of freedom in a mysterious ‘ghost hotel’ where he was tracked down by web sleuths.
While McAfee claimed to be jetting around to Belarus and hoaxed an arrest in Norway for wearing a thong as a mask, he was actually staying in the Daurada Park Hotel in Cambrils, Catalonia, according to the New York Post.
McAfee appears to have been hiding out in the hotel from March 2020 until his arrest in October, and was busted by amateur sleuths who spotted Spanish products and images of the Catalonian coast in his photos on Twitter.
At the hotel, no one answered the phones and it was impossible to make a reservation, according to El Confidencial, leading the Spanish newspaper to call the Daurada Park a ‘ghost hotel.’
John McAfee, the outlaw antivirus pioneer who died in a Spanish prison on Wednesday, spend his final months of freedom in a mysterious ‘ghost hotel’ in Catalonia
While McAfee claimed to be jetting around to Belarus and hoaxed an arrest in Norway for wearing a thong as a mask, he was actually staying in the Daurada Park Hotel (above)
The Daurada Park is situated in a small fishing village on the Spanish coast, about 70 miles southwest of Barcelona.
The last TripAdvisor reviews for the hotel were posted in late 2016 and are resoundingly negative, with one comparing it to ‘the Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s the Shining’ and a ‘Spanish version of hotel California’.
Spanish media report that the hotel was then purchased by an unnamed Russian businessman, who drew attention from authorities by installing a large laser on the roof pointing at the sky.
In 2018, Spanish police raided the hotel after rumors circulated that it was being used as a brothel.
What cops found surprised them. Instead of prostitution, the hotel was operating a large Bitcoin mining operation in the basement and parking garages, according to Diari de Tarragona.
The rooftop laser was apparently a ploy to explain the huge energy use of the computers in the basement, which earned Bitcoin by processing transactions.
Police appear to have been baffled by the operation, which didn’t seem illegal on its face, and its unclear whether any charges were ever brought.
Some sleuths spotted Spanish wine and bottled water in this photo, taken when McAfee claimed to be in Belarus
Twitter users noted that McAfee was consuming a Spanish brand of whipped cream when he claimed to be in Belarus
Others tied vistas from his photos to locations on the Spanish coast
McAfee’s connection to the hotel was exposed by amateur web sleuths on Twitter, most of whom have now had their accounts suspended.
Last spring, McAfee claimed to be in ‘lockdown’ in Belarus, he posted photos that eagle-eyed followers noted contained Spanish products.
McAfee’s photos showed beaches and balconies in the background that the sleuths were able to trace to Cambrils, and eventually the Daurada Park.
Confronted about the inconsistencies, McAfee lashed out on Twitter, claiming he had ‘visited Spain for a few days.’
But it appears he used the mystery hotel as his base of operations for months before his arrest on U.S. tax and fraud charges.
McAfee was arrested at Barcelona airport in early October when he was about to board a flight to Istanbul with a British passport.
He languished in Spanish prison until a court this week approved his extradition to the U.S. to face the charges.
McAfee was found dead in his cell on Wednesday in what authorities say appears to be a suicide by hanging.