Local Romanian news outlets Mediafax, Ziar de Cluj and others have reported that Vlad Nistor, CEO of CoinFlux which is the country’s largest crypto exchange has been arrested in the city of Cluj-Napoca on a U.S. warrant. Latest information stated that the Burcharest Court of Appeal disagreed with the 29-year-old businessman’s arrest, and he was released but placed under judicial control for 30 days. There has been no response as to how the extradition request from the U.S. will be handled, and Nistor is able to appeal against his arrest before 20 December 2018.
Based on the warrant issued by the U.S., Nastir has been accused for multiple crimes including fraud, computer fraud, organized crime and money laundering. CoinFlux, since his arrest, has temporarily stopped all crypto exchanges ongoing on its platform as the company’s bank account has been frozen. Due to investigations, the company was unable to make announcements through usual communication means such as e-mailing its users or publishing them on their website.
CoinFlux, found in 2015, is one of the largest online digital asset trading platform in Romania. The company has claimed to have exchanged 203,000 transactions of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) worth approximately 201 million euros for its traders, which surmounts to over 19,000 of them. The platform, aside from supporting SEPA transfers, also accepts payments made in Romanian leu and euro.
The platform, in their recent blog post, shared that they have been placed in an “unpleasant situation” due to a “recently, unexpected investigation”, where the platform is forced to temporarily stop all its operations, but further assured its traders that they will do all they can to cooperate with their legal advisors to return money that had been deposited into CoinFlux wallets back to their rightful owners.
Cryptocurrency first appeared in Romania when a Bitcoin ATM (Automated Teller Machine) was placed in the country back in 2014. However, further comment and discussion only became apparent around 2017. Ilan Laufer, the minister of Romania’s Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Environment said that he believed in the crypto market, but official regulations should be implemented upon it. Only time can tell how the government would handle a crypto-related case like Nastir’s which is relatively new and rare.