Former owner of the Wex cryptocurrency exchange Dmitry Vasilyev detained in Italy

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In Italy, Russian Dmitry Vasiliev was arrested in connection with the Wex cryptocurrency exchange, formerly called BTC-e. The latter stopped working and restarted under the new name after the detention in Greece of Alexander Vinnik, whom the US suspects of laundering money using bitcoins.

This BBC told a close friend Vasilyeva, a major contributor to the exchange, familiar with Vasilyev, and another contributor who heard about the detention from partners Vasilyev.

In this connection, a 32-year-old native of Minsk and a citizen of Russia were detained until they could find out.

BBC sent a request about the fate of Vasiliev to the Russian Embassy in Italy. "No comment," said Dmitry Gurin, the embassy press officer.

Requests to the police and the Ministry of Justice of Italy at the time of publication of the material remained unanswered. The press service of the financial police (Guardia di Finanza, subordinate to the Ministry of Economics) BBC reported that they do not disclose information about the detention of suspects.
What is known Vasiliev and Vinnik?

BTC-e Exchange - the largest Russian-language platform for the sale and purchase of cryptocurrency - has been operating since 2011.

In July 2017, she suspended her activities after being arrested in Greece at the request of the United States of the Russians, Alexander Vinnik. Domain btc-e.com was arrested by the FBI, users have lost some of the money.

American authorities believe that Winnick was the owner of BTC-e, and that cybercriminals laundered over $ 4 billion through the stock exchange. The BBC interlocutors said that he was the financial director of this exchange.

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The Russian himself claims that he was only a technical specialist and was neither the administrator nor the owner of BTC-e.

The real names of the BTC-e beneficiaries are unknown.

After the suspension, the exchange was restarted under the Wex.nz brand. Site management promised to pay off BTC-e debts. The company in Singapore became the operator of the exchange, which was owned by Dmitry Vasilyev.

Vasilyev was born in Minsk, graduated from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. Previously, he earned a poker game, and in 2012 he went to China and started delivering goods to the CIS countries. Subsequently, Vasiliev became interested in cryptocurrencies. He spoke at the Vinnik trial as an expert.

What does Vasiliev do now?

In November 2018, the Wex Exchange was bought by a former fighter of the self-proclaimed DNR, Dmitry Khavchenko, nicknamed “Sailor,” wrote earlier to the BBC. RBC magazine claimed that entrepreneur Konstantin Malofeev could stand in favor of Khavchenko, against whom Western sanctions were imposed in connection with the conflict in the Donbas. The representative of Malofeev denied the connection of the businessman with "Seaman" and Wex.

The deal ultimately did not take place. As it is supposed, the reason was the conflict of the new owner with the administrator who had access to the wallets. After that, trading on the stock exchange stopped, the withdrawal of funds was stopped. The account holders began preparing police statements for Dmitry Vasilyev.

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Vasilyev showed the BBC a copy of the Tolyatti MIA’s address to the head of the MIA’s linear administration at Sheremetyevo Airport, which states that a pre-investigation check is being carried out regarding Vasilyev. It was initiated by the police of Tolyatti, according to a statement from one of the Wex traders, who placed money on the account of the exchange and could not withdraw them, it follows from the document.

Also, industry media reported in October 2018 that traders wrote an appeal to President Vladimir Putin. He was handed over for inspection to the Central Investigation Department of the Moscow Department of the Interior Ministry.

In addition, a criminal case was initiated against Vasilyev in Kazakhstan, media reported in April 2019. Police suspect that in September 2018, with the help of the Wex exchange, he seized 20 thousand dollars belonging to a resident of Almaty.

Vasiliev argues that since the date of the transaction with "Seaman" he has no relation to Wex. Now he is engaged in promotion of cryptocurrency Prizm.

BBC has asked for comments in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, as well as in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General of Russia, is awaiting a response.

What's up with Winnick?

Winnick is now in a Greek prison. He is trying to extradite the United States, Russia and France.

The US authorities sent a request for extradition to the Greek authorities, and the court granted him. But almost simultaneously, the request for the extradition of Vinnik was sent by Russia. This request is also satisfied.

In Russia, after the arrest of Vinnik, a case was filed under the article "fraud on a large scale." This was reported by the Prosecutor General. In August 2017, a court in Moscow in absentia ordered an arrest, which became the basis for filing a request for extradition. Subsequently, another criminal case was opened in Russia against Vinnyk, and the Russian prosecutor’s office sent another extradition request to Greece.

Later, France joined the case, where the Russians were suspected of extortion and money laundering as part of a criminal group. Paris filed a request for the extradition of Winnick, and he was also granted.

The authorities of Greece have not yet issued Winnick to any of these countries.

The Russian himself wants to be tried in Russia. He stated this through lawyers.
 
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