Police Operation against Cryptocurrency Company NEXO in Bulgaria’s Capital (UPDATED)

Crime | January 12, 2023, Thursday // 10:58
Bulgaria: Police Operation against Cryptocurrency Company NEXO in Bulgaria’s Capital (UPDATED) @BNT

An international operation against a large-scale scheme for financial crimes, money laundering and violations of international sanctions against Russia is taking place in Sofia at the moment. According to BNT, it is the company NEXO.

The ownership of the company is related to a former member of parliament and the son of a former social minister from the NDSV political party.

The suspicions are that the Bulgarians behind the large company acted according to the scheme of Ruja Ignatova and the OneCoin pyramid led by her. The Bulgarian woman known as the "Queen of Cryptocurrencies" is in the top 10 most wanted persons by the FBI. Europol and Interpol are also on her trail.

Prosecutors, investigators from the National Investigation and SANS employees, together with foreign agents, have begun searches of the Bulgarian offices of the company that trades cryptocurrencies worldwide.

The company's operations were carried out from the Bulgarian capital, and depositors were invited to invest in bitcoins and other types of cryptocurrencies, with promises of high returns.

The interest rates that investors would receive were many times higher than those of classic banking institutions and various brokerage houses. There are reports that the owners of the company, who are Bulgarians, have appropriated part of the assets amounting to several billion dollars.

The investigation into the activities of the crypto company in Bulgaria began a few months ago, after foreign services detected suspicious transactions, which were reported to be aimed at circumventing the sanctions imposed by the European Union, Great Britain and the United States against Russian banks, as well as companies and citizens of the Russian Federation.

Who are the managers of the company:

Georgi Shulev – representing Nexo, son of former Deputy Prime Minister Lidiya Shuleva;

Antoni Trenchev – co-founder and director of several Nexo companies, former MP from the DBG, Reform Bloc;

Kosta Kantchev – director of Nexo Bank;

Kalin Metodiev – co-founder and financial director of Nexo;

Sokol Yankov – representing Nexo;

The company, which Sokol Yankov currently manages, said that Yankov left Nexo in 2019 and has had nothing to do with the investigated group of companies since then.

Georgi Shulev's office stated to BNT that he participated in the founding of Nexo in 2018. A year later, however, he left the Nexo group of companies and is suing the co-founders in Great Britain.

According to the Bulgarian National Television, Georgi Shulev is currently being questioned as a witness.

The former MP from the Bulgarian political entity "Reform Bloc", Antoni Trenchev, and his partner in the cryptocurrency trading company Nexo, Kosta Kantchev, fled to Dubai already in the fall of last year, BNT reported. This came after allegations of particularly large-scale fraud were brought against Nexo by the prosecutors of eight US states.

Regulators in California, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington and Vermont have announced that they are suing crypto platform Nexo over tens of thousands of cases of fraud totaling at least 0 million.

Nexo claims to manage billion in digital assets.

In recent months, the FBI has been investigating the activities of the Bulgarian crypto platform due to data on a hidden hole in the amount of over 4 billion dollars from investors, due to illegal financial activity - granting loans in exchange for collateral, as well as due to reports of abuse of the securities and goods of its customers.

The DFPI announcement revealed that Nexo offered annual interest rates of up to 36% on deposited crypto-assets to investors, significantly higher than rates on short-term investment-grade fixed income securities or bank savings accounts.

More details about the police operation read here.

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