Dmitry Vasiliev, the former CEO of Russian cryptocurrency exchange Wex, has been arrested in Warsaw, Poland, according to Russian media.
In the early days of the cryptocurrency industry, Wex, formerly known as BTC-e, was a well-known “dark” exchange. It is accused of laundering funds for a number of high-profile cryptocurrency hacks, including the infamous Mt. Gox incident.
Although Vasiliev is presumed innocent in Poland, other countries, including Kazakhstan, have an open fraud case against the elusive figure and have reportedly engaged in discussions about extradition to the country.
Vasiliev is believed to have been detained by Polish authorities on August 11th, but the news was only recently revealed by the Polish newspaper Wyborcza.
As an employee of BTC-e until its closure in the summer of 2017, Vasiliev allegedly facilitated trades for Chinese investors. Alexander Vinnik, the alleged CEO of BTC-e, was charged with laundering more than $4 billion in Bitcoin over a six-year period. He was later apprehended in Greece and the subject of an investigation by US authorities.
A few months after Vinnik’s arrest, Vasiliev took over as director of the rebranded exchange, Wex, which went on to cement its place in the Top-10 exchanges by the end of the calendar year, with a daily trading turnover of $80 million.
However, just over a year later, Binance blacklisted Wex for alleged money laundering practices, resulting in the exchange’s demise.
Vasiliev was arrested by Italian authorities in 2019, but was quickly released after it was revealed that errors were made in the extradition request.
Recently, the Bank of Russia began working with local banks to suspend payments made by its citizens to cryptocurrency exchanges, citing customer protection from “emotional” purchases as the reason for the forced intervention.