Russia requests the extradition of Bitcoin Fraud Suspect Alexander Vinnik
A panel of senior judges in a Greek court has accepted a new extradition request from Russia for Bitcoin fraud suspect Alexander Vinnik which further complicates the international case going on against him.
The court based out of the northern city of Thessaloniki ruled in favor of the Russian extradition request on 30th July. The 38-year old computer expert is also sought by the U.S and France, who’ve also filed a request for his extradition.
Denying all charges against him, Vinnik still says that he was “committed to fighting U.S dominance of the financial system.”
Vinnik is the former owner of the cryptocurrency exchange called BTC-e and has been trading bitcoin since 2011. As reported by Reuters, in July 2017, Vinnik was first arrested with an international warrant in Greece as a part of an investigation led by the U.S Justice Department. His firm was accused of receiving more than $4billion in bitcoin and operated in the U.S without following proper practices to protect against money laundering and various other crimes.
Earlier this year in July, the court had ruled the extradition of Vinnik to France, as reported by Vinnik’s lawyer to the Russian News Agency TASS. He further went on to say that, “The defense believes that the French are using this rapid European process to eventually surrender it to the US Otherwise, the US can not yet take it back, as we blocked the extradition process.”
French Officials have accused Vinnik of “defrauding thousands of people worldwide, including about 100 French nationals, by launching cyber attacks through his bitcoin platform.” He is also believed to have laundered around $155 million through bitcoin. According to Vinnik he was not involved in laundering but was only “transferring e-money through a platform” in a legitimate fashion.
The extradition request made by Russia has further complicated the case where Russian authorities are asking for an extradition over that of France. Nonetheless, the fate of Vinnik still remains in the hands of the Greek judges.
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