In the United States, a lawsuit was filed for $ 100 million against Russian cryptocurrency specialist Alexander Vinnik as compensation for the alleged violation of bank secrecy by his BTC exchange. Vinnik himself is in prison in Greece. He is accused of laundering $ 4 billion through a Bitcoin transaction. France demands the extradition of Vinnik on charges of extortion and the creation of a criminal gang.
In the summer of 2017, Vinnik came to rest in Greece as a tourist with his wife and two small children. Afterwards, he was arrested at the request of the United States. American law enforcement agencies accused him of violating US law and creating cryptocurrency exchanges without a license from the US authorities.
The Greek police explained his detention as suspicion that the Russian was laundering $ 4 billion through a Bitcoin transaction. The Greek police said that the Russian detainee headed a criminal organization that owns and manages “one of the largest cybercriminal sites”.
In May last year, Vinnick was ready to testify – but only to Russian investigating authorities.
“Vinnik wrote a letter of surrender in the Russian Federation, which states that he knows about crimes committed in the field of financial technology. Vinnik said he was ready to testify in Russia and assist in the investigation, ”a law enforcement source said.
Soon Vinnik filed a petition for political asylum in Greece in order to avoid extradition to the United States. The Russian himself does not plead guilty and calls the case an American provocation. His lawyers talk about the absence of corpus delicti.
Vinnik wrote an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking for help.
The Russian also asked Putin to take care of his family, as his wife is seriously ill and the children might become orphans.
“This means that I have little time now. In the event of my death, I ask you not to give my body to the enemy. Instead, you should bury me according to Christian customs,” the arrested man wrote.
According to a Russian lawyer, the appeal was transferred to Moscow through the diplomatic mission of Russia in Greece. Vinnik periodically goes on hunger strike and is regularly delivered to the medical department at the prison.
In March of this year, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, before visiting Moscow, promised to give Alexander Vinnik to Russia, sources in Greek government circles reported.
Sources noted that Vinnik will soon be extradited to Russia, as there were court decisions.
“In fact, this was one of the obligations of the Greek government in restoring bilateral relations,” they said in Athens.
The problem was the timing of the issuance. Before or after the trip of Tsipras’ visit, in connection with which the decision was delayed.
In addition, sources noted that the issue of the extradition of Vinnik was raised at the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tsipras in Moscow.
in Athens, they are leaving the answer to the question of why a Russian citizen is still imprisoned in Greece.
Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin does not follow the case of Alexander Vinnik.
“No, they are not following,” the Kremlin representative said, answering a corresponding question from a journalist.
It is worth noting that Paris also wants to see Vinnik in his prison. The French side claims that from January 1, 2016 to June 14, 2018, Vinnik in France was engaged in extortion and money laundering, while being the leader of a criminal gang.
The prisoner himself said that the French side is trying to secure his extradition for extradition to the United States. Vinnik suggested that the United States itself could not agree on his extradition, which “delays” the case.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia announced Winnik on the international wanted list
On May 21, 2018, a criminal case was initiated to investigate into theft of funds in the field of computer information. Vinnik became wanted on June 1.
According to investigators, having access to the BTC exchange, Vinnik established contacts with cryptocurrency sellers and buyers. In an in-person meeting with them he agreed on special conditions for entering, exchanging and withdrawing cryptocurrency and fiat money stolen from citizens and organizations in Russia. Unidentified accomplices then cashed the Money.
“Among others, they cashed out money stolen from the accounts of banks located in the territory of the Russian Federation. The cash was previously stolen by hacking into the network of banks through the use of Bukhtrap virus,” the resolution says.
According to the investigation, the damage from such actions Vinnik exceeded 11.8 million USD.