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Moscow Fights Greece Extradition of Alleged BTC-e Operator to United States

The catch is that Russian Federation also has an extradition request in with Greece.

Russian authorities are fighting the extradition of an alleged Russian hacker from Greece to the United States, Reuters reported Friday, the latest move by Moscow to block US prosecution of suspected Russian cybercriminals.

Vinnik, who denies the charges against him, is one of seven Russians arrested or indicted on USA cybercrime charges so far this year.

In a statement, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs said today that they “noted with regret” that the court opted to comply with the US’s extradition request for Vinnik, who was arrested in Greece in late July and was accused of laundering billions of dollars in bitcoin through the exchange.

A Greek court has ruled earlier this week in favor of extraditing Alexander Vinnik, 38, the alleged former operator of BTC-e, to the United States.

Russia said on Friday a decision by a Greek court to clear the way for a suspected Russian money launderer to be extradited to the United States was a violation of worldwide law.

USA authorities also said he was the brain behind the collapse of Japan-based bitcoin exchange MtGox, after which he laundered the stolen monies through BTC-e and another San Francisco-based exchange called Tradehill.

“Greek authorities received a request from the Russian attorney general that Vinnik be extradited to Russia” which “should have priority, as Vinnik is a Russian citizen”, the ministry said.

Alexander Vinnik, who headed BTC-e, an exchange he operated for the cyber currency, was indicted by a U.S. court in July on 21 charges ranging from identity theft and facilitating drug trafficking to money laundering. “Such a verdict is all the more surprising in the context of the friendly atmosphere of relations between Russia and Greece”, the ministry said, adding that Russia hoped Greece would take into account the Russian extradition request.

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