BTC-e Alexander Vinnik to be Extradited Back to Russia, Despite Allegations by The US

BTC-e Alexander Vinnik to be Extradited Back to Russia, Despite Allegations by The US

The US demands him to be handed over to their jurisdiction as he may hold vital information in connection with Russian interference in US elections

Last year, the alleged owner of cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece over allegations his exchange has skipped the KYC process. Three countries: the US, Russia, and France, have submitted extradition requests to Greece. Just this week the Greek Supreme Court has approved Russian request for extradition.

France has charged Vinnik with defrauding its citizens in 2016 and 2018.

The US demands him to be handed over to their jurisdiction as he may hold vital information in connection with Russian interference in US elections. The BTC-e is supposed to have been used to launder $9 billion for illegal organizations, among which is Russia’s Fancy Bear. Fancy Bear, said to have links with Russian military intelligence agency, is a cyber surveillance group purported to be involved with hacking, stealing, and releasing emails of US Democratic Party members.

An investigation done by Robert Mueller has found a pattern of layering in cryptocurrency exchange transactions made by Russian intelligence officers. As a result, BTC-e may have the names, bank accounts, and emails of the intelligence officers involved.

Russia has succeeded to extradite Vinnik back into the country where he will be facing cybercrime charges that is said to have amounted to 750 million RUB (over 10 million USD).

Today Russia, the U.S. and France engaged in a series of tricky legal transactions. There was an attempt to transfer Alexander to France and later to the U.S. Fortunately, we were able to figure that out; and proceedings in the French court were cancelled. Unlike the French request which was set aside for September 19, the Russian request was approved. Russia will now be cooperating with Greece to find out whether we can investigate the crime on our territory. This also gives us time to reach the right decision. I hope that me can make friends with Greece, and the extradition of Alexander Vinnik can be the start of this big friendship

Timofey Mussatov, Alexander Vinnik's attorney, to RUPTLY

The full statement(in Russian):

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