One of the former founders of the closed BTC-e crypto exchange, Russian Alexander Vinnik, suspected of crypto fraud, was taken out of Greece by American law enforcement agencies.
Alexander Vinnik’s lawyer said his client was extradited from Greece to the United States, where he is expected to stand trial in California. RIA Novosti source
claimsthat this was a well-planned and prepared operation by American law enforcement agencies:
“Everything happened and was framed as a kidnapping. As soon as the plane from France landed in Athens, Vinnik was immediately transferred to a private small plane, which immediately took off and headed for Boston. From Boston, today he is officially being transported on a business plane to San Francisco. From Boston, Alexander was allowed to call his mother, ”the source said.
Vinnik’s relatives are confident that the quick actions of US law enforcement agencies are dictated by the desire not to enter into negotiations with the authorities of Athens. Vinnik’s lawyers filed a complaint with the Greek courts. It is worth noting that the local court has not yet considered two requests for asylum filed by Vinnik’s defenders.
A source familiar with the story recalled that the Minister of Justice of Greece, Costas Tsiaras, decided in 2019 to extradite Vinnik successively, first to France, then to the United States and Russia. The procedural norms of the Greek legislation did not allow immediately sending a Russian to the United States.
Law enforcement agencies of the Greek capital’s airport the night before claimed that their colleagues from the United States did not warn about the extradition of a Russian citizen. At the same time, employees of the American consulate were at the airport for a long time. Employees of the consular department of the Russian embassy in Greece were not allowed to see Vinnik, despite his request for a meeting.
Greek police arrested Alexander Vinnik in 2017 in Thessaloniki. The Russian is suspected by the US authorities of money laundering in the amount of about 4 billion through cryptocurrencies.
A citizen of the Russian Federation was associated with the BTC-e crypto exchange, which was closed by law enforcement agencies. She stopped working literally a day or two after Vinnik’s arrest. The owners of BTC-e diligently remained anonymous, however, in 2017, Bits.media received information from the administrator of the qugla.com service, who claimed that Alexander Vinnik is one of the two owners and administrators of BTC-e. Shortly thereafter, the connection between the site and the detainee was confirmed by the Greek police. Although BTC-e itself officially announced that Vinnik is not an employee of the exchange.
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