A large amount of cryptocurrency has been moved in a wallet linked to cryptocurrency exchange Wex, the successor to the notorious exchange run by money laundering suspect Alexander Finnik, for the first time since 2017. The 10,000 bitcoins involved, worth more than $165 million, were moved. . to new addresses in multiple transactions.
Bitcoin stored in the Wex passive wallet is moving for the first time in five years.
An anonymous bitcoin wallet holder associated with defunct Wex, once the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Russian-speaking market, has withdrawn 10,000 coins. money this BTC The address was last moved in September 2017, when the same amount was sent.
Wex was created that year, after the collapse of BTC-e, which shut down after one of its operators, Alexander Finnik, was arrested in Greece. The Russian computer scientist, who is currently in US custody, is accused of laundering up to $9 billion through the stock market.
The digital currency transfer was first noticed by Sergey Mendeleev, founder of cryptocurrency exchange Garantex and CEO of hard banking platform Indefibank. wrote to have found The discovery was made on his Telegram channel, according to a report by leading Russian cryptocurrency news site Bits.media. The pieces were moved on Wednesday 23 November.
many of transactions were made, including two possible test transfers of small amounts, before the €10,000 was paid. The value of the cryptocurrency withdrawn, at the time of writing, exceeds $165 million in fiat equivalent.
About $450 million was lost when Wex went out of business in 2018. The platform is seen as a successor to BTC-e, which allegedly processed funds from the pirate From Mt Gox and other cybercrimes. It is operated by World Exchange Services, a Singapore-based company co-founded by Alexey Pilyuchenko, former partner of BTC-e manager Alexander Finnik.
Finnik was arrested in the summer of 2017 while on vacation in Thessaloniki. In addition to the United States, France and Russia He also asked to be handed over. In December 2019, the Greek authorities extradited him to France where he served (subject to pre-trial detention) a five-year prison sentence for money laundering. Vinnik was then returned to Greece, which immediately transferred him to the United States, where he now faces multiple charges.
In March of this year, a crypto entrepreneur associated with an anonymous crypto exchange was arrested by Russian law enforcement authorities on suspicion of embezzlement of funds and property. At the time, Sergei Mendeleev claimed that the man arrested was none other than Belyuchenko. His ownership of Wex was revealed in a BBC report.
Another partner and former general manager of Wex, Dmitry Vasiliev, was arrested in Poland in August 2021, then released by Polish authorities before returning to Russia. In June 2022, he was also arrested at Zagreb Airport upon entering Croatia, under a Red Notice issued by Interpol at the request of Kazakhstan as he was wanted for fraud.
In November last year, Mendeleev revealed that the Russian Interior Ministry had failed to respond to a request from Wex users to help block and confiscate crypto funds withdrawn from wallets controlled by the exchange. More than 10,000 ETH, worth approximately $46 million at the time, were withdrawn and transferred to other platforms.