During the raid, Bulgarian officials reportedly seized several computers, cash and crypto.
Bulgarian authorities are looking into a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform Nexo.
On January 12th, Bulgarian prosecutors launched an investigation into crypto lender Nexo and raided Nexo’s offices and 14 other sites in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia.
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The spokesperson for Bulgarian prosecutors, Siika Mileva, revealed that the operation was executed by over 300 investigators, security and police officers. Regarding the matter, Mileva stated:
In Sofia, active steps are being carried out as part of a pre-trial investigation aimed at neutralizing an illegal criminal activity of crypto lender Nexo.
According to Bulgarian prosecutors, the raid was a part of an operation to untangle a large-scale money laundering scheme and investigate Nexo’s violations of EU and US sanctions against Russia.
Bulgarian authorities revealed that they have gone through 4 million transactions and discovered that some of them violated Russia-related sanctions. On top of that, prosecutors found that some transactions were allegedly made or transferred to wallets related to individuals known for financing “terrorist” activities.
During the raid, officials reportedly seized computers, cryptocurrency and cash.
On January 13th, the news broke that Bulgarian authorities charged four Bulgarian nationals with a tax crime, unlicensed banking, money laundering and computer fraud. It was reported that two individuals were released on bail of almost $550,000. On the other hand, two other suspects are allegedly hiding somewhere in Bulgaria and have been added to the internationally wanted individuals list.
At the time of writing, it is unclear whether these individuals are connected to crypto lender Nexo.
When talking about the investigation, Nexo’s spokesperson denied the allegations and stated:
There was a flurry of allegations, all of which Nexo vehemently denies as the platform utilizes the highest possible standards with regard to know-your-customer and anti-money laundering practices to ensure the safety of our customers and the enterprise as well.
Nexo believes that the investigation is politically motivated. However, the spokesperson of Bulgarian prosecutor Siika Mileva denied the allegations stating that the probe has nothing to do with Nexo’s political donations.
In December, Nexo revealed that it is pulling out of the United States.