Former managing director of Russian cryptocurrency exchange Wex, Dmitry Vasiliev, was released from his arrest in Warsaw earlier this month. The former head of the now defunct coin exchange platform has since returned to Russia while legal proceedings against him in Poland are still ongoing.
Polish court rejects extradition of Wex leader to Kazakhstan
Polish authorities have released Dmitry Vasiliev, the man who headed Wex, once Russia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The 34-year-old Belarusian was detained at Warsaw airport on August 11, initially for 40 days, but remained in detention for almost four months.
Vasiliev told Russian economic news portal RBC that he was cleared to leave on December 7 and has since returned to Russia where he resides. His Polish lawyer further explained that the court had rejected his extradition to Kazakhstan but had not yet made a final decision on his case.
The former Wex executive was arrested after the disappearance of $ 450 million in accounts linked to the exchange. According to the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, the management of the stock exchange is responsible for the loss of money that belonged to citizens of EU member states, including Poland, and other countries.
Wex was launched in September 2017 and is considered the successor to the famous BTC-e exchange. The latter ceased its activities at the beginning of the year, following the arrest in Greece of one of its suspected operators, Alexander Vinnik, arrested under a US warrant.
US prosecutors accuse the Russian computer scientist of laundering up to $ 9 billion through BTC-e. He was sentenced to five years in prison by France last December. French judicial authorities have also rejected his extradition to Russia, where he is implicated in other crimes.
Dmitry Vasiliev was also arrested in Italy in the summer of 2019 at the request of Interpol in connection with the criminal case against him in Kazakhstan where he is wanted for fraud. Then, in August of the same year, Italian authorities released Vasiliev despite ongoing criminal proceedings against him in a number of other countries including Russia, Belarus and China.
In September, reports revealed that 100 ETH had been removed from a Wex wallet, the first movement of funds in three years. The remaining balance of 9,916 ETH, worth $ 30 million at the time, was also moved to a new address a few days later. In November, Russia’s Interior Ministry MVD was accused of failing to act on a request by victims of the swap to seize its assets.
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