Crypto Platform Nexo complained that they were Not Given a Search Warrant for Hours: They will Sue Bulgaria
The crypto platform Nexo, whose offices in Sofia were raided yesterday, announced in a statement to bTV that it will sue Bulgaria. The company complained that they had not been provided with a search warrant for hours, and the inspectors had never identified themselves.
The spokesperson of the prosecutor general, Siika Mileva, clarified yesterday at a briefing that the raids are part of an operation against a large-scale scheme for financial crimes. She added that the Bulgarian authorities are working on the case together with partner services, but did not specify who they are. Organizing a crime group, money laundering, tax crimes, unlicensed banking and computer fraud are the crimes that are being investigated.
Prosecutors, investigators from the National Investigation and SANS employees together with foreign agents searched the Bulgarian offices of the company that trades in cryptocurrencies around the world. A total of 15 addresses were checked, and over 300 people from different services are working on the case.
However, according to Nexo, the operation is not international and is "local Bulgarian arbitrariness". The company adds that "this is the battle for the prize ‘most shameful moment‘ of the Bulgarian prosecutor's office, which has been mercilessly cruel for decades, but today also ranks high in the ranking". It is for this reason that the crypto platform did not offer its services on the territory of Bulgaria, because they always expected that it was possible to come "under the bombardment of the absurd".
"We have not yet been presented with official documents that unequivocally indicate claims against Nexo. However, it is compensated by an unnecessarily ostentatious action, with the participation of persons who refuse to identify themselves and for hours did not show a search warrant," the position reads.
It also specifies that there are people detained, but there are no named warrants for their arrest. "Everything that has happened so far is in sharp contrast to the established legal and procedural norms, showing the total incompetence of those conducting this shameful action and are unworthy of a legal state".
Nexo adds that they will file claims against Bulgaria, which they expect to win. According to them, they will be for hundreds of millions, but they do not specify in what currency.
The crypto platform informed BNT that the action continued into the late hours of yesterday. They warned that they would soon show videos showing violence against the company's employees.
A coordinated attack
Yesterday, the co-founder and co-owner of Nexo, Antoni Trentchev, commented on the topic to Bloomberg, calling the action a "coordinated attack".
"They are investigating a Bulgarian organization of the group, which does not work directly with clients, but only has functions related to operating costs," says Trentchev. "This is a coordinated attack as evidenced by the absurd claims."
In front of the specialized site Coindesk, a Nexo spokesperson made a similar statement by email, in which he called Bulgaria "the most corrupt country in the EU".
"They are conducting anti-money laundering and tax-related investigations for the Bulgarian organization of the group, which does not work directly with customers, but only has administrative functions - salaries, customer support, compliance. We are among the most stringent organizations when it comes to KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering Measures).”
Here's Nexo's full position as sent to bTV:
“We have not yet been presented with official documents that unequivocally indicate claims against Nexo. However, it was compensated by an unnecessarily ostentatious action, with the participation of persons who refused to identify themselves and for hours did not show a search warrant.
People were detained without specific warrants for their detention. Everything that has happened so far is in sharp contrast to the established legal and procedural norms, showing the total incompetence of those conducting this shameful action and are unworthy of a legal state. As always, the compensation that Bulgaria will pay after the claims filed and won by Nexo will be another anti-record in the amount of hundreds of millions, but unfortunately they will be at the expense of the Bulgarian taxpayer.
- Nexo does not offer its services on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, precisely because we have always expected that it is possible to come under the bombardment of the absurd. However, the dimensions in which it can unfold exceed even our wildest expectations. Nexo is among the crypto companies with the highest standards in terms of know-your-customer and anti-money laundering measures.
- Beyond the standard methods of any financial institution, Nexo uses the services of companies such as Chainalysis, which are used by the FBI and the CIA, among others. This allows our specialists, that passed special qualification in the USA against money laundering, to be sure of the origin of the crypto assets entering the platform, as well as to know where those withdrawn from the platform go.
- After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions, Nexo undertook one of the strictest policies regarding sanctioned territories and individuals as a result of Russian aggression. What's more, we were among the first to help raise funds for the victims.
- The prosecution's briefing and the unconvincing answer to the question of whether this is an international action leave no doubt that this is a local Bulgarian arbitrariness. Conversations with regulators in other jurisdictions are being opportunistically used to suggest that this is more than just a drive to kill and loot a thriving business.
- Nexo is a proud employer of over 600 people in Bulgaria and we are among the examples of a company that has paid tens of millions of BGN in the form of taxes and insurance, creating a unique own product and making the company the world's number one in its field. We will take all actions permitted by law to protect our employees and the company itself from this outrageous arbitrariness.”
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