In Italy, 32-year-old Russian citizen Dmitry Vasilyev, known as the former owner of the WEX cryptocurrency exchange (formerly BTC-e), was detained. About this BBC told a close friend Vasilyeva.
The BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange, founded in 2011, was the largest Russian cryptocurrency exchange platform. In 2017 in Greece at the request of the FBI was arrested
One of the alleged owners of BTC-e is the Russian Alexander Vinnik. In addition, the FBI arrested the domain btc-e.com and seized
equipment. Thus, the BTC-e exchange actually ceased to exist.
The American authorities accused Winnick of using more than $ 4 billion to launder cryptocurrency through the stock exchange.
Vinnik himself claims that he was only a technical specialist, but not the owner of BTC-e. However, in a speech in a Greek court, published by lawyer Timofey Musatov, Vinnik admitted that he had administrative powers on the stock exchange. The real names of the BTC-e beneficiaries are still unknown. To date, the issuance of Winnick are seeking from the United States, France and Russia from Greece.
After a short pause, the exchange restarted in September 2017 under the WEX brand. The site management promised to pay off the BTC-e debts, charging clients with tokens instead of a portion of the lost money. The company in Singapore became the operator of the exchange, which was owned by Dmitry Vasilyev.
In early July 2018, it became known
that Vasiliev is discussing the sale of the WEX exchange to the former DPR militia from the Crimea Dmitry Khavchenko. However, the deal never took place.
According to two BBC interlocutors close to Khavchenko, the “Sailor” could have
a corporate conflict with the administrator Alexei from Khabarovsk, hiding under the nickname admin, who controls access to the exchange wallets. The latter was supposedly ready, like Vasiliev, to give up his share in the stock exchange, but then he changed his mind. Admin did not respond to BBC questions transmitted through his friend.
In this connection, Dmitry Vasiliev was detained, while it was not possible to find out. Most likely, this detention is not directly related to WEX. Dmitry Gurin, press attaché at the Russian embassy in Italy, refused to comment on the request about Vasiliev’s fate. Requests to the police and the Italian Ministry of Justice at the time of publication of the material also remained unanswered. The press service of the financial police (Guardia di Finanza, subordinate to the Ministry of Economy) reported that they did not disclose information about the detention of suspects.
In addition, it is known that in April 2019 in Kazakhstan a criminal case was initiated against Vasilyev on suspicion of misappropriating $ 20,000 Almaty residents with the help of WEX. Then Vasiliev said that he had sold the stock exchange in the middle of 2018 and from that moment has nothing to do with it, and now it is exclusively engaged in the promotion of Prizm cryptocurrency. At about the same time, users began reporting problems with withdrawing funds to WEX. After several changes in the domain name in December last year, the exchange finally went offline.