Alleged Bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik to be extradited to France

Russian national Alexander Vinnik is set to be extradited to France to face money laundering charges, despite his request to have the ruling annulled.

The 37-year-old was arrested back in July 2017 after he was accused of laundering billions of dollars using Bitcoin through the now-defunct platform BTC-e.

The United States, France, and Russia all issued international arrest warrants for him.

Last year, Coin Rivet reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during talks in Moscow in an attempt to extradite Vinnik back to his own country.

US prosecutors estimate Vinnik helped launder between $4 billion and $9 billion in Bitcoin tied to cybercrime, the drug trade, and other criminal enterprises.

The indictment detailed his operation as “one of the primary ways by which cybercriminals around the world transferred, laundered, and stored the criminal proceeds of their illegal activities”.

It was later reported that Vinnik went on hunger strike to protest the violation of his human rights and claimed to be a political prisoner seeking extradition back to Russia.

Vinnik to face charges in three countries

Following a ruling from Greece’s council of state, he will now be extradited to France, then the USA, and finally to Russia, according to reports.

The country’s supreme administrative court rejected his request to annul the decision, made by Justice Minister Constantinos Tsiaras.

The council of state also ruled Tsiaras has the authority to determine the order of the countries Vinnik will be extradited to.

Interested in reading more money laundering-related stories? Discover more about the UK’s financial watchdog the FCA becoming an anti-money laundering supervisor for businesses conducting crypto-related activities.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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