The U.S indicts Alexander Vinnik, a Russian man accused of laundering $4bn in bitcoin through the BTC-e crypto-currency exchange. David Doyle reports.
He's the alleged mastermind of a $4 billion bitcoin laundering scheme and on Wednesday (July 26) this Russian man was indicted by a U.S. jury. Alexander Vinnik was arrested in a small beachside village in northern Greece on Tuesday following an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice. The DoJ describes Vinnik as the operator of BTC-e, an exchange used to trade the cryptocurrency since 2011. They accuse him of of laundering more than $4 billion for people involved in crimes ranging from hacking to drug trafficking. He's also been linked to the failure of Mt. Gox - a Japan-based bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after being hacked. BTC-e is one of the oldest virtual currency platforms and is currently out of service, for what it claims is unplanned maintenance. Until Vinnik's arrest, the identity of anyone behind the exchange was unknown. SOUNDBITE (English) U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS SAYING: "You are not safe, you cannot hide, we will find you." It's the latest in a series of U.S. operations against cyber-criminals in Europe. Last week, the DoJ shut down the dark web marketplace AlphaBay, which they say facilitated a global trade in drugs, firearms, computer hacking tools and other illicit goods.