Romania: Bitcoin Exchange CEO Vlad Nistor Arrested for Money Laundering, May Face US Extradition

December 12, 2018 19:33 UTC

According to a local Romanian news outlet Ziar de Cluj and others, Vlad Nistor — the CEO of Romania-based Bitcoin exchange CoinFlux — has been detained on behalf of the US government and is awaiting extradition. He was arrested in the city of Cluj-Napoca on Tuesday, according to another outlet.

The crypto exchange has not disclosed the arrest on its blog or social media pages, and as recently as Dec. 3 the firm was advertising Nistor’s impending appearance on a local radio show.

According to one report, he will be extradited to the US today, having sat in Cluj and Bucharest since his arrest. Nistor will reportedly be charged with fraud, computer fraud, money laundering, and what amounts to racketeering. CCN has reached out to the US Justice Department for a statement on the extradition and the nature of the charges against Nistor.

The three-year-old CoinFlux is an exchange platform so small that it does not register on CoinMarketCap’s market lists. There are markets on that page with volumes as small as $10,000, although, admittedly, they are on crypto exchanges with much higher volumes.

An editorial in one local newspaper expresses an opinion against the extradition of Vlad Nistor, with a view to the sovereignty of Romania [roughly translated]:

“Either Romanian Vlad Nistor rushed USSS guest starters yesterday morning, packed him tonight, and today he wants to pack him in the United States. Nobody opposes extradition from the Romanian authorities, even though the Romanian citizen is only in a criminal investigation stage – no one knows why he is accused (yesterday even the defenders had no idea what to build their minimal defense). Well, how about human rights, the right to an equitable judge, the equality of arms, and so on?”

Nistor is also reportedly the son of one of the founders of Banca Transilvania, the second-largest financial institution in Romania.

CCN will post more details on this case as they become available. In the meantime, this author believes that it is not recommended to use the CoinFlux bitcoin exchange as the firm has yet to publicly disclose a serious matter like the arrest of their CEO and co-founder.

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Last modified: December 12, 2018 19:21 UTC

@bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.