Arrest of a Russian entrepreneur in Amsterdam, confirmed by Moscow.
Authorities in the Netherlands have detained a Russian national involved in a cryptocurrency business, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The man who was involved in the establishment of two cryptocurrency exchange platforms was apprehended earlier this month, reportedly on the request of US law enforcement.
Denis Dubnikov, the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange platforms Coyote Crypto and Eggchange, was arrested on November 1 in Amsterdam. According to Forklog, the spokesperson for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, confirmed the news that had spread on social media.
The Russian citizen was initially detained and placed in an isolation ward at Mexico City International Airport. He was then boarded on a flight to the Netherlands, where he was eventually arrested by Dutch authorities, allegedly in response to a request from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to the publication.
According to a Facebook post published on Nov. 4 by Sergei Mendeleev, CEO of the defi banking platform Indefibank, the US seeks Dubnikov’s extradition in connection with a cryptocurrency theft in 2018. A portion of the digital currency is thought 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.
In response to his social media request, Zakharova confirmed 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.
Denis Dubnikov’s arrest comes after a Bloomberg report this week revealed that his Eggchange is the subject of anti-money laundering investigations in Europe and the United States. This case comes on the heels of the blacklisting of another Russia-based cryptocurrency company based on similar allegations. The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Suex, a Czech-registered OTC crypto broker with offices in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, in September.
Dubnikov is not the first Russian cryptocurrency entrepreneur to be detained on a US warrant. Alexander Vinnik, a Russian IT specialist, was arrested in the Greek city of Thessaloniki in the summer of 2017, where he had arrived on vacation with his family. Prosecutors in the United States allege that Vinnik, an accusation operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, laundered up to $9 billion through the now-defunct coin trading platform. He was later extradited to France and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of money laundering. In May, the French judiciary denied a request for his arrest warrant to Russia, where he would face additional charges.