Greek court rules to extradite cybercrime suspect to France

Russia blasts Greece over cybercrime suspect’s extradition

Russia blasts Greece's decision to extradite a Russian bitcoin operator and cybercrime suspect to France

The extradition ruling was made a day after Greek authorities confirmed that two Russian diplomats were being expelled from the country.

The court in the northern city of Thessaloniki ruled in favor of France's request for Alexander Vinnik, a former bitcoin operator who was arrested in Greece past year on a US -issued worldwide warrant.

Back in July 2017 Vinnik was originally arrested in Greece, when the U.S.'s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a $110 million penalty against BTC-e for violating anti-money laundering (AML) laws - these charges included a $12 million penalty for himself.

Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday that it had summoned the Greek ambassador to Moscow to protest against the expulsion of two Russian diplomats by Athens.

A Greek court supported France's extradition request for Alexander Vinnik, an alleged Russian hacker accused of laundering $4 billion of criminal proceeds through BTC-e.

Russia blasts Greece over cybercrime suspect’s extradition

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested that Moscow could expel an equal number of Greek diplomats.

"It is obvious that Russian Federation can not leave these actions unanswered", the statement warned.

The deal to end the name dispute foresees Macedonia renamed as North Macedonia in exchange for Greece dropping objections to its northern neighbor joining NATO and the European Union.

Greece's fragile left-right coalition under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recently lost two lawmakers who quit in protest against the Macedonia accord, bringing his parliamentary majority to 152 out of a total of 300 seats. Vinnik has denied doing anything illegal. The extradition is somewhat surprising as, previous to this move, the Greek Supreme Court had approved his extradition to the stand trial. He remains jailed in Greece pending the final decisions on his extradition.

French authorities are charging Vinnik with cybercrime, money laundering, membership in a criminal organization, and extortion. Authorities claim Vinnik defrauded thousands using cyber attacks via his bitcoin platform.

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