Poland confirms arrest of former Wex exchange director

Reports of the detention of Dmitry Vasiliev, former head of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange Wex, have been confirmed by authorities in Poland. The former director of the platform, allegedly involved in the theft of millions of dollars' worth of money, faces the possibility of extradition to Kazakhstan.

Prosecution confirms Vasiliev is in custody in Poland

Dmitry Vasiliev, who once ran Russia's largest cryptocurrency exchange, was detained at Warsaw airport in early August, but Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported the news last week, citing undisclosed sources. 

The 34-year-old Russian national headed the now-defunct Wex, the successor to the BTC-e exchange, before it was sold to a Ukrainian businessman turned separatist militant, Dmitry Havchenko, in late 2018. The digital asset trading platform halted payments earlier this year and eventually went bankrupt.

While Vasiliev officially owned Singapore-based operator Wex, Russia's BBC previously revealed that Wex was owned by Alexei Bilyuchenko, a partner of alleged BTC-e administrator Alexander Vinnik. The Russian computer scientist, accused of laundering up to $9 billion through BTC-e, was sentenced last December to five years in prison by France, which rejected Vinnik's extradition to Russia.

Polish police detained the former Wex CEO with the help of Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organisation. An official from the Warsaw prosecutor's office noted that "the extradition request for Dmitry V. was sent by Kazakhstan". Vasiliev has been wanted in the Central Asian country since 2019 on charges of stock market fraud. Poland is yet to decide whether to extradite him.

The cryptocurrency entrepreneur has been in custody since 11 August, when Polish authorities placed him in pre-trial detention for an initial period of 40 days. Dmitry Vasiliev is suspected of involvement in the disappearance of $450 million worth of assets of citizens of EU member states and other countries of the world.

24-09-2021, Mr Advice TEAM

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