Dmitry Vasiliev, former chief of Russia’s Wex crypto firm arrested in Poland
BBC Russia has latest reported that the former chief of cryptocurrency exchange platform Wex, Dmitry Vasiliev, has been arrested in Poland’s Warsaw.
Wex, previously popular as BTC-e, has been a well-known “dark” exchange during the initial days of the emerging cryptocurrency industry. Allegedly, Wex has been laundering funds for numerous “high-profile cryptocurrency hacks”, including the Mt. Gox incident.
Although Vasiliev is innocent within the Polish jurisdiction, countries like Kazakhstan have issued an open fraud case against him. The government has also reportedly engaged in discussion with possibilities of extradition.
As per sources, Vasiliev had been detained on August 11 by Polish officials, but the news was only reported by the Polish newspaper, Wyborcza, on September 17.
Vasiliev had allegedly facilitated trades for multiple Chinese investors in the position of an employee for BTC-e up until it shut down in the summer of 2017.
The alleged Head of BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, has also been charged with money laundering of a sum amounting to more than $4B in Bitcoin over six years. He was also arrested in Greece and held as a subject of an investigation by the United States authorities.
A few months following Vinnik’s arrest, Vasiliev had taken over as Director of the exchange, now rebranded as Wex, which worked its way up among the Top-10 list, registering a daily turnover of $80 million.
But within a year, Binance had already blacklisted Wex for several money laundering practices, a step that eventually spelt doom for the exchange.
Vasiliev was arrested in 2019 by the Italian authorities, but he was released after it was revealed that the extradition request had some mistakes.
The Bank of Russia very recently began collaborating with its local banks for suspending payments to cryptocurrency exchange firms, citing customer protection measures against “emotional” purchases leading to the enforced intervention.