Judges agree to extradition of alleged operator of BTC-e bitcoin scam to France

A Thessaloniki Appeals Justices Council on Friday decided to grant a request by French authorities for the extradition to France of alleged BTC-e bitcoin exchange operator Alexander Vinnik, 39, to face charges of money laundering.

French authorities issued a European arrest warrant for the Russian national, who is accused of “laundering” some 130 million euros in illegal revenue, arising from cyberattacks on computer systems to demand ransom in bitcoin. More than 100 French citizens are among the victims of the scam.

Vinnik was arrested in the summer of 2017 while on holiday with his family in Halkidiki. He denies the charges, claiming that he was carrying out “personal transactions” that he considered to be legal. He has requested asylum in Greece, which has been denied at a primary level.

The French request was preceded by extradition requests from the United States, where Vinnik has been charged with laundering four billion dollars, and Russia, where he is charged with fraud and cyberattacks on Russian banks, both of which have been granted.