Authorities in the Netherlands have arrested a Russian national with a cryptocurrency business, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has confirmed. The man involved in the establishment of two crypto exchange platforms was apprehended earlier this month, reportedly on a request from U.S. law enforcement.
Russian Founder of Cryptocurrency Exchangers Detained in Holland
Denis Dubnikov, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange platforms Coyote Crypto and Eggchange, has been arrested in Amsterdam, on Nov. 1. A report by crypto news outlet Forklog quoted the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Maria Zakharova, who confirmed the news which spread on social media.
The Russian citizen was initially held and placed in an isolation ward at the airport in Mexico City. He was then boarded on a flight to the Netherlands where he was eventually arrested by Dutch authorities, allegedly on a request submitted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the publication detailed.
According to a Facebook post published on Nov. 4 by Sergei Mendeleev, CEO of the defi banking platform Indefibank, the United States seeks the extradition of Dubnikov in relation to a cryptocurrency theft dating from 2018. Part of the digital money is believed to have passed through wallets operated by his crypto exchange business.
“So, a few days ago there was an extraordinary situation with the citizen of the Russian Federation Dubnikov Denis Mikhailovich. For a completely indistinct reason, he was detained at the airport in Mexico upon arrival and… was suddenly deported (precisely deported!) to Amsterdam…,” Mendeleev explained, asking how is it possible for this to happen to Russian citizens.
“Friends, I think there is a reason to ask the Russian Foreign Ministry for a reaction, maybe Maria Zakharova will give her weighty comment?” Mendeleev noted. In response to his call on social media, Zakharova confirmed the information about Dubnikov’s detention and added:
Russian diplomats in the Netherlands provide assistance to a detained Russian citizen, [they] are in contact with local law enforcement agencies on the issue of observing his rights.
Dubnikov Arrested Amid Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Against His Crypto Business
The news of Denis Dubnikov’s arrest comes after a Bloomberg report revealed this week that his Eggchange is the target of anti-money laundering investigations in Europe and the U.S. This case follows the blacklisting of another Russia-based crypto business on similar allegations. In September, the U.S. Treasury Department adopted sanctions against the Czech-registered OTC crypto broker Suex which operates out of offices in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Dubnikov is not the first Russian crypto entrepreneur detained on a U.S. warrant. In the summer of 2017, the Russian IT specialist Alexander Vinnik was arrested in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, where he arrived on a vacation with his family. American prosecutors claim Vinnik, an alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, has laundered up to $9 billion through the now-defunct coin trading platform. He has since been extradited to France and sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering. In May, the French judiciary rejected a request for his extradition to Russia where he would also face charges.
The sanctioned crypto broker Suex is believed to have laundered digital money related to what was once the largest cryptocurrency exchange on the Russian and regional market. In August, Polish authorities detained Dmitry Vasiliev, former chief executive of BTC-e’s successor, Wex, at the airport in Warsaw. Vasiliev is wanted in Kazakhstan where he is accused of fraud related to the platform and is awaiting a decision on his possible extradition. Poland officially confirmed his arrest in September.
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