Former Wex Crypto Exchange Head Reportedly Arrested in Poland and at Risk of Extradition to Kazakhstan – Bitcoin News



Dmitry Vasiliev, former managing director of Russian cryptocurrency exchange Wex, has been arrested in Warsaw, the Polish press reported. Vasilyev is wanted in Kazakhstan where he is accused of fraud related to the defunct trading platform, successor to the infamous BTC-e exchange.

Former Wex executive in Polish detention as prosecutor’s office examines extradition request

Former Wex owner and CEO Dmitry Vasiliev was arrested at Warsaw airport on August 11, Poland’s leading newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza revealed this week. According to sources cited by the publication, the 34-year-old Belarusian was remanded in custody for 40 days.

Former Wex Crypto Exchange Head Reportedly Arrested in Poland and at Risk of Extradition to Kazakhstan

The Polish National Prosecutor’s Office is currently considering his extradition to Kazakhstan. Authorities in the Central Asian country have been looking for Vasiliev via Interpol for several years as part of an ongoing investigation into fraud charges.

In its report on the case, the BBC’s Russian service said Polish police refused to comment on information about the case. However, rumors of Vasiliev’s detention have been circulating among Wex clients since August and an acquaintance close to him confirmed to the BBC that he was indeed in Polish detention.

This is not the first arrest of Dmitry Vasiliev in Europe. Two years ago he was detained in Italy but eventually managed to return to the Russian Federation where he permanently resided in the city of St. Petersburg. The Italian authorities released him after several weeks of detention, citing flaws in his extradition request.

Dmitry Vasiliev’s BTC-e connection

Wex, once the largest crypto trading platform in the Russian-speaking world, was launched in the fall of 2017 as a successor to BTC-e. The infamous exchange closed earlier that year after one of its suspected operators, Alexander Vinnik, was arrested in Greece. Vinnik is accused by the United States of laundering up to $ 9 billion through BTC-e. He was sentenced to five years in prison by a French court in December.

According to Russian economic news portal RBC, Wex had reached a daily turnover of $ 80 million before going offline. In 2018, its operator, the Singapore-based entity World Exchange Services, was sold to Dmitry Havchenko, a Kiev entrepreneur turned separatist fighter in eastern Ukraine. While Dmitry Vasiliev was the official owner of the company, the BBC claims that Wex was actually owned by Aleksey Bilyuchenko, Vinnik’s partner at BTC-e.

After being on and off for months, during which time it also changed web addresses several times, Wex halted withdrawals in the summer of 2018 and subsequently went bankrupt. According to estimates from a group of Wex users cited by Forklog, the total losses exceed $ 400 million, with Vasiliev himself believed to have withdrawn $ 200 million. He is wanted in Kazakhstan after a trader in Almaty turned to local law enforcement accusing the Belarusian of stealing funds worth $ 20,000 through Wex.

According to the report, 100 ETH was recently withdrawn from a wallet owned by Wex which has a remaining balance of over 9,900 ETH. The digital currency was transferred to Binance, the first such transaction in the past three years. In 2018, the world’s first crypto exchange blocked an account that had received 93,000 ETH from wallets associated with Wex.

Do you expect Poland to extradite former Wex cadre Dmitry Vasiliev to Kazakhstan? Tell us in the comments section below.

Tags in this story

Alexander Vinnik, Arrest, Bankruptcy, Belarus, Belarusian, BTC-e, CEO, Customers, Crypto Exchange, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Custody, Customers, Detention, Dmitry Vasiliev, Exchange, Executive, Extradition, Extradition Request, Chief , Italy, Kazakhstan, Money Laundering, Owner, Poland, Russia, Russian, Traders, Users, Wex

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