Russian national Alexander Vinnik has been extradited from Greece to France, where he is charged with extortion, aggravated money laundering and harming automated data-processing systems. He is alleged to have defrauded more than 100 people in six French cities
Mr Vinnik has been involved in a multi-jurisdictional battle with France, the US and Russia, all seeking his extradition from Greece where he was arrested in 2017 at the request of US authorities, who suspect him of laundering $4 billion in bitcoin. The Russian extradition request relates to fraud charges amounting to approximately $11,000. The Russian request, and others of its kind issued by the Russian Federation in recent years, are widely considered to be attempts at keeping Russian hackers from falling into the hands of US authorities. Mr Vinnik’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence are believed to have prompted the Russian charges.
Ruling on the competing requests in December 2019, Greece’s Council of State, the country’s supreme administrative court, decided in favour of extradition to France. The French investigation is ongoing and a trial date has not been set.
Mr Vinnik’s lawyer stated that he is being ‘persecuted’ because of his nationality and his computer skills which are a threat to the international banking system.