Former CEO of Wex Crypto Exchange Detained in Croatia

The former chief executive and also the co-owner of the notorious Wex crypto exchange has been detained in Croatia. Dmitry Vasiliev was behind the crypto exchange that has now become defunct and he is a wanted man in Kazakhstan for stealing an investor’s money.

Born in Belarus, the crypto entrepreneur had once been the CEO of the largest crypto trading platform in the country and media reports indicated that he entered Croatia on May 25th, Wednesday, where he was arrested at the Franjo Tudjman Airport in the capital. The reports further said that authorities in the Croatian capital of Zagreb took this step due to a red warrant that Interpol had issued.

This had been done on the request of authorities in Kazakhstan. Vasiliev was born in the former-Soviet country, but he lives in the Russian Federation. Authorities in the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan were looking for him because he had defrauded an investor and stolen $20,000.

They had been trying for his extradition for a while, but as opposed to other offenses, the crime for which they wanted him was considered relatively minor. The Wex crypto exchange had gone bankrupt back in 2018 and according to estimates, the losses that people had suffered were around $400 million.

Last year in September, Polish media had reported that Vasilievhad been arrested in mid-August at the Warsaw airport and was going to be extradited to Kazakhstan. However, reports in December stated that the entrepreneur had gone back to Russia after his release.

His detention in Croatia is the latest news about the co-owner of the crypto exchange. Almost two years ago, the authorities in Italy had apprehended the crypto businessman, but this had been temporary. After a couple of weeks, the Italian authorities had decided to let him go as they said that the extradition request had some faults.

This allowed Vasiliev to return to the second-largest city in the Russian Federation, St.Petersburg, where he resides. The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Russia had announced in March 2022 that they had made an arrest.

The man in question had been accused of stealing funds from a crypto exchange. Even though they had not identified the name of the exchange or the man who was arrested, reports had indicated that it could be another co-founder of Wex, Aleksey Bilyuchenko. Back in 2017, a notorious BTC-e exchange had shut down.

This was after the arrest of Alexander Vinnik, one of the operators of the exchange. In the same year, Wex had been declared as a successor to that exchange. Vinnik had been accused by the United States for using his trading platform to launder money worth $9 billion.

He had been arrested in Greece, but was extradited to France. In December 2020, the French justice system sentenced the man to five years in prison. He is also a wanted man in the Russian Federation.