Russia's HR Official Wants Deportation of Alexander Vinnik

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

26 February 2019,
Russia's HR Official Wants Deportation of Alexander Vinnik

After spending eighteen months in the custody of  Greek authorities, Alexander Vinnik, the operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e could soon make a return to the Russian Federation, albeit in critical health conditions.

According to local news agency TASS, Tatyana Moskalkova, the Russian Commissioner for Human Rights has sent a plea to Greek Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou to ask for the deportation of Vinnik to his homeland.

The Greek Police arrested Vinnik with orders from the U.S Department of Justice in July 2017. Then, as the owner of crypto exchange BTC-e, he was accused of laundering up to $4 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Following his arrest, Vinnik denied the charges while lawsuits were subsequently filed against him in France where authorities claim that he duped up to 100 people within the space of three years. A Greek Court then decided to move Mr Vinnik to France, thus ignoring an earlier request by Russia for the alleged criminal to be trialled in his homeland.

The latest request sent to Greek officials is now the second official attempt asking the European neighbours to extradite Mr Vinnik to the Russian Federation.

TASS reports that the request sent by the Russian Human Right Commissioner to the Greek Minister reads thus —

“I appeal to you, Mr Minister, to extradite Alexander Vinnik, a citizen of the Russian Federation — against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted in the Russian Federation, and who is currently in a difficult family situation and health condition — to the Russian Federation for further investigation of his case."

Whether the request will be granted at this second attempt is a question only time will answer. Meanwhile, Mr Vinnik is said to be on a hunger strike resulting in the loss of 30% of weight and bringing him to a near death situation. It is primarily on this basis that the Russian Human Right Commissioner is seeking his deportation.

In a similar development, reported in January that an unnamed U.K resident who stole $11.4 million worth of IOTA tokens is now under the custody of the European Police authorities.


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