US ‘kidnaps’ Russian crypto money launderer in the Netherlands and extradites him

The United States has extradited Denis Mihailovich Dubnikov, a 29-year-old Russian citizen, from the Netherlands, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. He was indicted on crypto money laundering charges.

Dubnikov faces 20 years in prison

Dubnikov appeared in court in Portland, Oregon on August 17. His trial will begin on October 4. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to the DOJ.

He laundered ransom payments from Ryuk victims

According to evidence cited by the DOJ, Dubnikov and his accomplices laundered ransom payments from victims of the Ryuk ransomware attacks. There have been thousands all over the world.

Ryuk is a version of ransomware allegedly created by Russian cybercriminal group Wizard Spider. It has compromised technology, healthcare, government and academic organizations, and manufacturing facilities. Ryuk made a record ransom demand of $12.5 million in 2019.

The DOJ press release said:

Dubnikov laundered $400,000 ransom

Apparently Dubnikov laundered the ransom proceeds of over $400,000. The DOJ alleges that the group involved in the conspiracy laundered at least $70 million in total.

He was arrested in the Netherlands last year

Dubnikov was captured in the Netherlands on November 1, 2021 and accused of facilitating ransomware and money laundering. He is the co-founder of Eggchange, Coyote Crypto, and a few other crypto projects, which offered a live crypto-fiat exchange.

Lawyer: the United States “kidnapped” Dubnikov

Prior to the arrest, Dubnikov’s lawyer told Russian media that US law enforcement abducted his client in Mexico before transferring him to the Netherlands. His case is being handled by several agencies.

The U.S. Office of International Affairs itself handled the extradition process in conjunction with the Justice Department’s Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, a unit created to combat cybercrime. The case is also being investigated by the FBI office in Portland.