The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), Russia stated on Tuesday that a man has been arrested on suspicion of diverting financial and other assets from a crypto exchange. Some reports are claiming that the detained person is co-founder of Wex exchange. The suspect is accused of having complete control over substantial sums of cryptocurrencies and their movement across wallets. According to the press statement, the individual was arrested just at a hotel near the Moscow area with two bags containing 190 million Russian rubles ($1.7 million) in banknotes. Investigators are suspecting that he has removed and appropriated part of the funds.
Authorities from the MVD, the Federal Security Service (FSB), and Russia’s financial watchdog, Rosfinmonitoring, conducted 29 searches at the homes of the accused and his collaborators in various cities including Moscow. Approximately 50 million rubles, $1 million, €70,000, as well as computer hardware, hardware crypto wallet, luxury items, and documents, were confiscated during searches.
Co-founder of Wex Exchange arrested in Russia
The name of detained individual and related crypto exchange has not been out by authorities. However, some reports are claiming that the detained person is Aleksey Bilyuchenko, co-founder of Wex. The Wex was created in 2017 as a replacement to BTC-e exchange and was previously Russia’s largest crypto trading platform. The BTC-e exchange was shut down earlier when one of its accused operators, Alexander Vinnik, was arrested in Greece.
In 2018, Dmitry Khavchenko, a former soldier for Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, purchased Wex. He registered the exchange’s operator as Singapore-based World Exchange Services. Later in the same year, the exchange went insolvent.