The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, confirmed that the authorities in the Netherlands have arrested a Russian citizen working in the field of cryptocurrency. The man involved in creating two cryptocurrency exchanges was arrested earlier this month, reportedly at the behest of US law enforcement.
Russian founder of cryptocurrency exchanges detained in the Netherlands
Denis Dubnikov, co-founder of crypto exchanges Coyote Crypto and Eggchange, was arrested in Amsterdam on November 1. A report by crypto news outlet Forklog quoted a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, who confirmed the news spread on social media.
The Russian national was initially detained and placed in an isolation ward at Mexico City’s airport. He then boarded a plane bound for the Netherlands where he was eventually arrested by Dutch authorities, at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the post said.
According to a Facebook post published on November 4 by Sergei Mendeleev, CEO of the Defi Banking platform Indefibank, the United States is seeking to extradite Dubnikov in connection with a cryptocurrency theft dating back to 2018. It is believed that part of the digital funds are gone. Through wallets operated by his own cryptocurrency exchange.
“Therefore, a few days ago there was an unusual situation with a citizen of the Russian Federation Dubnikov Denis Mikhailovich. For a completely unclear reason, he was arrested at the airport of Mexico on his arrival and … he was suddenly deported (precisely deported!) to Amsterdam .. . ”, explained Mendeleev, wondering how this could happen to Russian citizens.
“My friends, I think there is reason to ask for a reaction from the Russian Foreign Ministry, may Maria Zakharova make her weighty comment?” Mendeleev noted. In response to his call on social media, Zakharova confirmed the information about Dubnikov’s detention and added:
Russian diplomats in the Netherlands provide assistance to a detained Russian citizen, [they] In contact with local law enforcement agencies on the issue of respect for his rights.
Dubnikov arrested amid anti-money laundering investigations against his crypto business
News of Denis Dobnikov’s arrest comes after a Bloomberg report this week revealed that his Eggchange is the target of anti-money laundering investigations in Europe and the United States. The case follows the blacklisting of another Russia-based crypto firm over similar allegations. In September, the US Treasury adopted sanctions against an OTC crypto broker registered in the Czech Republic and operating out of offices in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Dubnikov is not the first Russian crypto entrepreneur held under a US arrest warrant. In the summer of 2017, Russian IT specialist Alexander Vinnik was arrested in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, where he arrived on vacation with his family. US prosecutors allege that Vinnik, the alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, laundered as much as $9 billion through the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange. He has since been extradited to France and sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering. In May, the French judiciary rejected a request to extradite him to Russia where he will also face charges.
The sanctioned crypto broker Suex is believed to have laundered digital money related to what was once the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Russian and regional market. In August, Polish authorities detained Dmitriy Vasiliev, the former CEO of Wex, the successor to BTC-e, at Warsaw Airport. Vasiliev is wanted in Kazakhstan where he has been accused of platform fraud and is awaiting a decision on a possible extradition. Poland officially confirmed his arrest in September.
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