For the first time since 2017, multiple cryptocurrencies stored in wallets linked to cryptocurrency exchange Wex, the successor to Alexander Vinnik’s popular trading platform suspected of money laundering, have moved. transfer. Those 10,000 bitcoins, worth more than $165 million, were moved to new addresses in multiple transactions.
Bitcoins Stored in Inactive Wex Wallet Moved for the First Time in 5 Years
An unknown owner of a bitcoin wallet linked to the now defunct Wex, once the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Russian-speaking market, has withdrawn 10,000 coins. The last time funds were sent from this BTC address was in September 2017, for the same amount.
Wex, which was launched this year following the collapse of BTC-e, was shut down after one of its moderators, Alexander Vinnik, was arrested in Greece. A Russian computer scientist currently in custody in the United States is accused of stealing up to $9 billion through the stock market.
The first digital money transfer was opened by Sergey Mendeleev, founder of digital currency exchange Garantex and CEO of banking platform Defibank Indefibank. He published the discovery on his Telegram channel, as reported by Bits.media, a major Russian crypto news site. Coins will be released on Wednesday, November 23.
Several transactions took place before 10,000 BTC was sent, including two possible small test transfers. 3500 BTC moved to one address and 6500 BTC to another, possibly an exchange address. At the time of writing, the value of the cryptocurrency received is over $165 million in fiat currency equivalents.
Wex lost an estimated $450 million offline in 2018. The platform is believed to be the successor to BTC-e, which allegedly used proceeds from the Mt Gox hack and other cybercriminals. . It is operated by World Exchange Services, a Singapore-based company founded by Alexey Bilyuchenko, a former partner of
BTC-e administrator Alexander Vinnik.
Vinnik was arrested while on vacation in Thessaloniki in the summer of 2017. In addition to the US, France and Russia also filed for extradition. In December 2019, Greek authorities extradited him to France, where he was sentenced to five years in prison (including pre-trial detention) for money laundering. Vinik was then sent back to Greece, where he was immediately extradited to the United States, where he now faces multiple charges.
In March, Russian law enforcement agencies arrested a crypto businessman associated with an unidentified crypto exchange on charges of embezzlement of funds and property. At that time, Mr. Sergei Mendeleev said that the person arrested was none other than Bilyuchenko. A BBC report revealed Wex’s ownership.
Another owner and former CEO of Wex, Dmitry Vasiliev, was arrested in Poland in August 2021 and released by Polish authorities before returning to Russia. After entering Croatia in June 2022, he was also arrested at Zagreb airport on an Interpol red alert at the request of Kazakhstan and wanted for fraud.
In November, Mendeleev revealed that the Russian Interior Ministry had not responded to Wex users’ requests for assistance in blocking and confiscating cryptocurrency withdrawn from wallets controlled by the exchange. At that time, more than 10,000 ETH, worth nearly $46 million, was withdrawn and transferred to other platforms.