A BBC report has linked Russian intelligence agency FSB to the disappearance of $450 million from the crypto exchange WEX. The co-founder of the exchange was allegedly forced to hand over client data to the FSB.
The Russian crypto exchange World Exchange Services (WEX) earlier known as BTC-e was shut down by international regulators for its alleged involvement in money laundering activities in 2018. WEX’s alleged operator Alexander Vinnik was arrested and accused of laundering more than $4 billion in cryptocurrency since the exchange’s launch in 2011.
FSB’s role behind WEX collapse
According to a BBC report published on 15th November, WEX crypto exchange co-founder Alexy Bilyuchenko revealed that he was forced to hand over the details of customer’s digital wallets to members of the FSB in 2018, which the intelligence allegedly used to steal more than $450 million in cryptocurrencies.
Bilyuchenko also revealed that he had received multiple calls threatening to close down WEX exchange if he refuses to comply. He said that he was taken to the FSB office in Moscow, where he handed over the flash drives that contained details on accessing exchange users’ funds, according to the BBC report.
Exchange was shut down in 2018
Several months after he had given the details on accessing exchange users’ funds, Bilyuchenko was told that WEX users’ funds would be transferred to the to the “FSB Russia Fund.” After that, WEX froze customers’ funds and withdrawals before entirely shutting down late in 2018.