Russia Demands Greece Extradite Bitcoin Suspect



Vinnik was detained in Greece on July 25, 2017

Moscow expects Athens to extradite back to his own country the Russian national Alexander Vinnik, a bitcoin fraud suspect who has been in a Greek prison since July 2017. The Russian foreign ministry spoke about the case on Thursday at a press briefing.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that Russia is keeping “a close eye on the situation involving Russian citizen Vinnik.”

“He has been on a hunger strike since late November 2018, which is, naturally, a cause for profound concern. Russian diplomatic representatives in Greece insist on ensuring the personal safety of the detained Russian citizen and respecting his legitimate rights, she maintained.

“During our contacts with the Greek side at all levels we stress that we expect the Greek authorities to extradite the Russian national to his country of origin, that is, Russia,” Zakharova was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Tass.

Vinnik was detained on July 25, 2017, at the request of the US, where he is accused of laundering four to nine billion dollars through the now defunct “BTC-e” cryptocurrency trading platform.

He has been in a Greek prison since that time.

Greece’s Supreme Court ruled in 2017 to extradite Vinnik to the United States. However, it later revised its decision and ruled that he must be extradited to Russia at the request of the Russian prosecutor’s office, and then to France on a European arrest warrant issued in Paris.