According to Bulgarian media, an international police operation is currently underway against the cryptocurrency lender Nexo.
More than 15 raids took place this morning in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. The company is being investigated on suspicion of money laundering, tax offenses, banking without a license, and computer fraud. The local news site, BNT, reported that the company was suspected of violating international sanctions against Russia.
Attorney General Siika Mileva said in a statement:
“The main organizers of the scheme are Bulgarian citizens, and the activity was carried out mainly from the territory of Bulgaria. Evidence has been collected that a person who used the platform and transferred cryptocurrencies has been officially declared a terrorist financing person.”
However, the company has told multiple news sources that it was facing backlash for its pro-Ukraine stance. In Bulgaria, unlike most of Europe, the invasion of Ukraine has divided opinion.
Nexo Hits Back And Points To Bulgarian Corruption
In a thread on Twitter, Nexo said it is cooperating with relevant authorities and regulators. The firm restated that it has strict anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) policies and implied the actions of the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office were unfair. They implied that these actions are, in part, due to Bulgaria’s status as the most corrupt country in the EU.
The company claimed it had “30+ AML compliance officers who ensure that we retain a real-time picture of our clients, which includes adverse media publications, OFAC sanctions lists, and source & flow of funds.” There is suspicion that some of Nexo’s Bulgarian employees were working with infamous crypto criminal Ruja Ignatova. The “Queen of Cryptocurrencies,” is wanted by Interpol, Europol, and the FBI.
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