Alleged BTC-E Admin and Bitcoin Launderer Will Be Extradited to US

Greek Court Backs Extradition of Alleged Bitcoin Exchange Operator to US                          Oct 4 2017 at 10:30 UTC by Rachel Rose O'Leary

A court in the Greek city of Saloniki satisfied a United States extradition request for Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik at its hearing on Wednesday.

Vinnik, 38, was detained in Greece on July 25 at the request of USA authorities charging him with a number of offenses. Authorities suspect he was ringleader and responsible for alleged laundering activity since 2011.

Russian Federation also demands his extradition on separate fraud charges. If extradited to the US, Vinnik faces up to 55 years in prison.

Vinnik appealed to Greece's Supreme Court, and his lawyers cited "insufficient indications, let alone evidence" against him presented in court.

Alexander Vinnik is accused by of using BTC-e - a digital currency exchange - to launder more than 4 billion dollars of proceeds from computer hacking and drug trafficking.

Читайте также: Indian liquor mogul Vijay Mallya arrested in United Kingdom for second time

At least seven Russian nationals have been arrested or indicted worldwide this year in connection with USA cybercrime charges, Reuters reported, anything but alleviating tensions between former Cold War foes.

In the event that the Supreme Court upholds the decision, Greece's justice minister will have the final say over whether Vinnik's extradition to the United States can go ahead, or whether his transfer to America needs to be blocked in favour of Russia's request.

Vinnik allegedly committed these crimes while operating bitcoin exchange BTC-e, although he claims he was just a technician and the exchange denies he was ever employed by the company. No date has been set for that.

Nikos Paraskevopoulos, the Greek Minister of Justice, will have the final word on the competing extradition cases, and may play a critical role in determining where Vinnik stands trial.

"We have faith in the Greek justice system and a long road ahead of us", said another of Vinnik's lawyers, Xanthippi Moisidou.

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