U.S. law enforcement agents have “kidnapped” crypto entrepreneur Denis Dubnikov in Mexico, before transferring him to the Netherlands where he was arrested, his lawyer told Russian media. Dubnikov, who is accused of money laundering, could face up to 20 year imprisonment if extradited from the United States.
FBI accused of kidnapping Russian Citizen with Cryptocurrency business
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has “practically kidnapped” Russian national Denis Dubnikov in Mexico, later arrested in Amsterdam on Nov. 1, his lawyer Arkady Bukh alleged, speaking to Sputnik. Co-founders of cryptocurrency trading platforms Coyote Crypto, and Eggchange were first detained at Mexico City’s airport while on vacation. He then boarded an airplane to Holland where he was taken into custody by Dutch authorities. According to the defense lawyer:
Mexico refused to allow him into the country. He was taken to the Netherlands by US intelligence agencies, who paid for his tickets. This means that he was actually kidnapped.
According to Bukh’s description of the events, Dubnikov was expelled from Mexico because the country’s extradition policy is not as “ideal” as that of Holland. “They have bought a ticket, in other words, they have in fact kidnapped him and sent him to the Netherlands because extradition from the Netherlands is in fact guaranteed,” the lawyer elaborated further.
Additionally, the legal representative revealed that Denis Dubnikov was currently in Dutch custody and stated that the defense is expecting his extradition. Arkady Buukh explained that Denis Dubnikov is being accused of conspiring in money laundering using wallets owned by crypto companies. This means that he could face 20 years imprisonment in the United States.
Although we have so far not agreed to extradition, we are likely to give our consent soon because we know that the Netherlands does not support extradition. The situation is being studied. It might be worth considering a fast extradition to resolve it here.
Dubnikov’s Arrest Linked to Ryuk Ransomware Group
According to the Sputnik report, Dubnikov’s detention is among the first arrests in the case against the Ryuk group which is linked to ransomware attacks on hospitals in the U.S. According to authorities, Dubnikov is believed to have received bitcoins in the hundreds of thousands. Some of this money was obtained via Ryuk ransomware attacks.
Denis Dubnikov was not the only Russian citizen to have a crypto-business detained by the U.S. Alexander Vinnik (IT specialist) was taken into custody in Greece while on holiday with his family. American prosecutors allege Vinnik is the operator of BTC-e and has laundered as much as $9 billion via the now-defunct platform. Later, Vinnik was extradited back to France where he was sentenced to five year imprisonment for money laundering. An extradition request from Moscow was rejected by a French court in May.
The news of Dubnikov’s arrest came after a Bloomberg report unveiled that his Eggchange is being investigated for money laundering in Europe and the United States. Based on similar allegations, the U.S. is targeting Russian cryptocurrency platforms as well.
The Treasury Department placed Suex on its blacklist in September. This Czech-registered cryptocurrency broker was operating from offices in Russia. Suex is suspected to have processed hundreds of millions in crypto transactions related scams, darknet market, ransomware actors like Ryuk, as well as processing crypto transactions related. Chatex was sanctioned by the department this week. This bot is linked to Suex as well as two ransomware actors.
What do you think of the Dutch authorities attempting to extradite Denis Dubnikov from Russia to the United States. Please leave your comments below.
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