Alexander Vinnik, Administrator of BTC-E has been arrested by Greek police for laundering four billion dollars using Bitcoin. Vinnik is a Russian national and was running very popular crypto currency exchange, BTC-e. The arrest warrant was issued by US Ministry of Justice and according to various reports, USA is looking to extradite Vinnik. The site in question has tweeted in Russian that it will remain offline for coming 5-10 days.
Two days back, on July 25th, the twitter account of the website in question, BTC-E tweeted that they were undergoing unplanned maintenance in their data center. Later they tweeted, “Our engineers are still looking into the issue in data center. We hope to get back online soon. Will continue to keep you updated”
According to the warrant, he was running a criminal organization since 2011 year, and has done money laundry for several billion dollars. Police added that was the administrator of one of the most popular and important websites of electronic crime in world.
Police has seized his phone, two laptops and five tablets from his hotel room. It is being said that BTC-e has done $7 million bitcoin deposits and $5.5 million withdrawals so far. The BTC-E admin has already appeared before a prosecutor in Greece and is set to be held in custody pending examination of extradition request. It shall be noted that in Greek law, it can take upto 2-months to get extradition request examined.
Russian Foreign Ministry has no information on this case.
Many users have already pointed out to a Forbes article where the Google warned about the increased ransomware threats. Cyber criminals have already earned $2 million in a year by blackmailing users to pay them in crypto currencies. The very article claims that the criminals might have been using assistance of BTC-E’s admin to cash their funds out.