Former CEO of Rebranded WEX Crypto Exchange Gets Detained in Italy
Dmitry Vasilyev has been detained by Italian police on Friday, July 19, 2019 reports news outlet Coin Desk, who has since referenced BBC News Russia. Said news was revealed to the latter by two unnamed sources.
Initially operated as BTC-e, which was one of the largest Russian crypto exchanges back in 2011, the platform was then shutdown upon the arresting of Alexander Vinnik in Greece in 2017 due to users’ complaint of lost money.
According to the US, Vinnik was deemed the owner of BTC-e and that his platform was used for money-laundering activities of over $4 billion. For the time being, he is facing extradition to either one of three countries including the US, France, and Russia.
The Root Cause for WEX Failure
Once BTC-e was shutdown, the crypto exchange reappeared under “WEX”, which was commenced by Vasilyev. The root cause of all problems from here on supposedly arose when the former tried to sell the exchange to Dmitri Khavchenko, a former fighter.
Upon contacting Khavchenko sometime last year, Coin Desk learned that WEX’s admin was kept unnamed, adding that the team stole the keys and left because of their distaste in the new CEO.
Police in Action
Police got involved, as many Russians were unable to retrieve their funds amidst the crypto exchange’s falling in 2018. Both the Kazakhstan National Police and Russia’s Tolyatti police have been involved in the search for Vasilyev. Initially, President Vladimir Putin received the letters of complaints, which in return got into the hands of the police.
Laundering has definitely been part of the BTC-e, as Coin Desk referenced a Wall Street Journal report, which disclosed that,
“BTC-e appeared in 60 to 70 percent of all criminal cryptocurrency cases through 2016.”
Since the news sparked, BBC Russia allegedly sent a request regarding what’s to come for Vasilyev to the Russian Embassy in Italy, to which the Embassy Press Officer, Dmitry Gurin responded, “no comment”.
For the time being, the financial police have decided against disclosing any information regarding the recently detained suspects as well.