Dutch authorities arrested a Russian national with a cryptocurrency firm, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow confirmed. The man involved in setting up two crypto exchange platforms was apprehended earlier this month, apparently at the behest of U.S. law enforcement.
Russian founder of cryptocurrency exchangers detained in Netherlands
Denis Dubnikov, co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Coyote Crypto and Eggchange, was arrested in Amsterdam on November 1. the news that spread on social networks.
The Russian citizen was first detained and placed in an isolation room at Mexico City airport. He was then embarked on a flight to the Netherlands where he was eventually arrested by Dutch authorities, allegedly on a request submitted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the publication detailed.
According to a Facebook post published on November 4 by Sergei Mendeleev, CEO of the defi banking platform Indefibank, the United States is asking for Dubnikov’s extradition in connection with a cryptocurrency theft dating from 2018. Part of the digital currency is said to be passed through wallets operated by his crypto exchange business.
“So a few days ago there was an extraordinary situation with the citizen of the Russian Federation Dubnikov Denis Mikhailovich. For some totally indistinct reason, he was detained at the Mexico City airport on his arrival and… was suddenly deported (precisely deported!)
“Friends, I think there is a reason to ask the Russian Foreign Ministry for a reaction, maybe Maria Zakharova will make an important comment?” Mendeleev noted. In response to her appeal on social media, Zakharova confirmed the information about Dubnikov’s detention and added:
Russian diplomats in the Netherlands assist a detained Russian citizen, [they] are in contact with local law enforcement on the issue of respect for their rights.
Dubnikov arrested amid anti-money laundering investigations against his crypto company
News of Denis Dubnikov’s arrest comes after a Bloomberg report this week revealed his Eggchange was the target of anti-money laundering investigations in Europe and the United States. The case follows the blacklisting of another Russian-based crypto firm over similar allegations. In September, the US Treasury Department passed sanctions against Czech Republic-registered OTC crypto broker Suex, which operates from offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Dubnikov is not the first Russian crypto-entrepreneur to be held under a US warrant. In the summer of 2017, Russian computer scientist Alexander Vinnik was arrested in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, where he arrived on vacation with his family. U.S. prosecutors say Vinnik, an alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, laundered up to $ 9 billion through the now defunct coin exchange platform. He has since been extradited to France and sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering. In May, French justice rejected a request for extradition to Russia where he would also face charges.
Sanctioned crypto broker Suex has reportedly laundered digital money linked to what was once the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Russian and regional market. In August, Polish authorities arrested Dmitry Vasiliev, former managing director of BTC-e successor Wex, at Warsaw airport. Vasiliev is wanted in Kazakhstan where he is accused of platform-related fraud and awaits a decision on his possible extradition. Poland officially confirmed his arrest in September.
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