Lawyer Claims US ‘Kidnapped’ Russian Crypto Businessman

Speaking to Russian media, Arkady Bukh, the lawyer representing crypto entrepreneur Denis Dubnikov said that the Russian national was ‘practically kidnapped’ by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Mexico. Denis Dubnikov co-founded crypto trading platforms Eggchange and Coyote Crypto and had been on vacation when he was first held in Mexico City. He then took a flight to the Netherlands where the Dutch authorities had apprehended him in Amsterdam on November 1st. According to the defense attorney, he was not permitted to enter the country in Mexico. He was put on a plane to the Netherlands by the US authorities, who paid for this ticket, which means that he was kidnapped. 

As per the description of events put forward by Bukh, the extradition policy of Mexico is not ideal’ due to which Dubnikov was expelled from the country and send to Holland because of their extradition policy. The lawyer elaborated that extradition from the Netherlands is guaranteed, so the US opted to send him there. It was also disclosed by the legal representative that the Russian national is currently being held in Dutch jail and also stated that they were probably going to extradite him to the United States

The lawyer detailed that Denis Dubnikov could face a sentence of as long as 20 years because he has been accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering via the wallets that belong to his crypto operations. He said that they were not in favor of extradition, but they would probably consent to it later because fighting against extradition in Netherlands is rather pointless. He added that they were looking into it and might prefer a quick extradition to sort it all out. According to media reports, the detention of the crypto entrepreneur is amongst the first arrests to have been made against the Ryuk group.

They have been linked to ransomware attacks that were carried out in hospitals in the United States. As per authorities, hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to Dubnikov in bitcoin, some of which had been obtained through the ransomware strikes by Ryuk. He is not the first Russian running a crypto business to have been detained on the request of the United States. Alexander Vinnik, the IT specialist, had been arrested in 2017 in Greece while on a trip with his family. He was allegedly operating the renowned BTC-e and American prosecutors claimed that he had laundered a sum of $9 billion through his exchange. 

He had been extradited to France later and was sent to prison for five years for money laundering. An extradition request from Moscow had been rejected by a French court in May. The news of Dubkinov’s arrest surfaced after reports indicated that Eggchange was under investigation in the United States and Europe for money laundering. Lately, other Russian crypto platforms have also been targeted by the US for similar claims. Suex, a crypto broker registered in the Czech Republic, had been blacklisted by the Treasury Department back in September that also has offices in Russia.