Follow-Up: Mr. Bitcoin Questioned By French Investigators In Greece

Maja Mazur
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Alexander Vinnik, a suspect in Bitcoin laundering lawsuit, has been interrogated by French investigators in Thessaloniki, Greece. France was granted an extradition of the Russian.

Alexander Vinnik is becoming a criminal ‘celebrity’

The case of the alleged Russian Bitcoin launderer, we wrote about him earlier, is getting more and more complex. Now, three countries apply for the authorization to extradite the BTC-e administrator from Greece, who currently stays in the local police custody. Alexander Vinnik is accused of laundering four to nine billion dollars through no longer existing BTC-e cryptocurrency trading platform.

The Russian side of the story

The Russian news service TASS reports that French investigators questioned Vinnik on Monday in Thessaloniki. Before the investigation, Timofei Musatov, Vinnik’s attorney, stated in an interview with TASS, that the charges pressed against his client had been fabricated, or, how he put it, “trumped-up”.

“It is no coincidence that the interview has been scheduled before Alexander’s extradition and aims to exert not only psychological pressure on my client, but also to obtain evidence of his guilt, which is absent in his case files”, states Musatov.

Charges

According to CNN, Vinnik was arrested in 2017, while spending family holidays in Greece. He was accused of various criminal acts, including helping to launder thousands of bitcoins stolen from Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Alexander Vinnik denies all of the charges and even gainsays being BTC’s administrator, claiming that he only works there as a simple technician and has no idea about any laundering happening.

Extradition granted

The Greek court has ruled in favour to all three countries’ requests for the extradition of Alexander Vinnik, so France, the United States and recently his homeland Russia were granted the permission. Despite that, the suspect still remains in Greek prison. Earlier this year, in May, the Greek source Sputnik reported some disturbing news. Supposedly there was a plot to kill Vinnik in his own cell. The Russian suspect was banned from receiving any objects, food or water from unknown sources and could  move around the prison only with security.

The case of a Russian born alleged criminal continues. Despite having granted three extraditions to various countries, Greek court has not yet decided where Alexander Vinnik will go next.

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