Greek Supreme Court to Extradite Purported Bitcoin Money Launderer Alexander Vinnik to France
Alexander Vinnik, the allegedly former operator of the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, could be sent to France after the country requested his extradition. The Supreme Court of Greece has supported this decision, according to a report released by the Russian news agency TASS.
Vinnik is known as Mr. Bitcoin and was detained in Greece back on July 25, 2017. He has been accused of helping criminals to launder $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) using the BTC-e exchange. Both Russia and France have requested the extradition of this individual to their respective countries.
Earlier this year, a Thessaloniki court ruled in support of his extradition to France. Nevertheless, he appealed the decision taken by Greece’s highest judiciary. Vinnik has been in prison in Greece and started a hunger strike in November. He decided to do that protesting against the arbitrariness of the judges in the country.
Vinnik informed that he will only stop his hunger strike if he is extradited to Russia. He said that he has already lost 9 kilograms after starting his strike.
Apparently, if he is extradited to France, he could be later extradited to the United States. He has been accused of violating anti-money laundering (AML) rules and allowing criminals to launder money on the platform.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously accused Greek authorities of complicating relations with Russia due to Vinnik’s case. At the same time, Russia representatives asked Greece to give extradition priority to Russia rather than to France.
There have been several exchanges hacked and accused of not being compliant with Anti Money Laundering (AML) rules. This situation has pushed countries and governments to search for new ways to regulate the market. Vinnik is currently in a judicial limbo until he will find a country were to be judged.