Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

$90 Million Of Assets Of Russian Alexander Vinnik's Company Arrested In New Zealand

$90 Million Of Assets Of Russian Alexander Vinnik's Company Arrested In New Zealand

New Zealand police have frozen $90 million in the accounts of a New Zealand company, Canton Business Corporation, which it claims is owned by a Russian accused of a cybercrime, Alexander Vinnik, the Associated Press reports.

The new Zealand police said they are cooperating with the US Tax office in this case. According to Police Commissioner Andrew Costner, the amount seized was probably obtained illegally. According to him, this is the greatest amount that has ever been frozen by the New Zealand police.

The police intend to apply to the court to allow the final confiscation of these funds.

The Agency, for its part, notes that in New Zealand, the procedure for establishing companies is relatively simple, and this is often used by foreign criminals who create shell companies for money laundering.

Detention and extradition of a Russian citizen

Greek authorities in July 2017 detained Vinnik at the request of the United States, where he is suspected of organizing an operation to launder at least $4 billion.

According to the American side, the Russian used a platform called BTC-e, and led a criminal group that manages "one of the world's largest sites through which cybercrimes are committed." Since 2011, he managed to launder at least $4 billion using bitcoins, according to the American investigation.

In October 2017, a Greek court granted a request to extradite Vinnik to the United States. Subsequently, the Supreme court of Athens confirmed the legality of this decision.

Later, Greek courts approved two Russian requests for Vinnik's extradition and a similar request from France. As a result, the Russian was handed over to the French side.

In France, the Russian, according to the defense, is charged with money laundering, as well as fraud. In particular, according to the French investigation, Vinnik stole personal data of citizens, and then allegedly returned them for money. 5,700 people around the world are recognized as victims of the case, of which only 100 are French citizens.

Vinnik himself, as stated by his lawyers, considers himself innocent of the crimes imputed to him and does not know why and what exactly he is accused of there.

You may also like: