US, Moscow Seek Russian Held in Greece Over Bitcoin Laundering

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
Last Update: 21:00

Moscow has requested the extradition of a Russian national who is also wanted in the United States, for laundering billions of dollars through a Bitcoin exchange he operated, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Alexander Vinnik, who headed BTC-e, an exchange he operated for the Bitcoin crypto-currency, was indicted by a US court in late July on 21 charges ranging from identity theft and facilitating drug trafficking to money laundering.

He has been languishing in a Greek jail since his arrest on July 25 in Chalkidiki, a tourist resort near the city of Thessaloniki.

According to the judicial source, Vinnik said he would not contest Moscow’s request, dated August 10. He is wanted there on separate fraud charges totaling 9,500 euros ($11,000).

According to US authorities, Vinnik, 37, “stole identities, facilitated drug trafficking, and helped to launder criminal proceeds from syndicates around the world.”

The Greek justice system will now have to decide whether Vinnik heads to Moscow or Washington.

Source: AFP

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