Bulgarian Police Denies Any Political Motives into Latest Nexo Investigation

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Bulgarian Police Denies Any Political Motives into Latest Nexo Investigation
Photo: Unsplash

Prosecutor General spokesperson for Bulgarian police denied any political agenda behind the recent raids on Nexo’s office in Bulgaria.

Last week, the Bulgarian police raided Nexo’s office in a probe over alleged tax evasion and money laundering. The news about the Nexo investigation comes within a month of its exiting the US market in December 2022.

Nexo Investigation

Siika Mileva, a spokesperson for Bulgaria’s chief prosecutors, however, has denied any political motivation behind the probe against crypto lending firm Nexo. Mileva’s comments came in response to the accusations that the investigation into Nexo had a connection with the company’s political donations.

Besides, Mileva stressed that in almost all cases in recent years, wherein a prosecution starts an investigation that affects someone’s financial interests, leads to accusations and attacks. “It has become a national sport to attack the institutions,” Mileva argued.

Last week on January 12, a group of prosecutors, foreign agents, and investigators searched Nexo’s Bulgaria office in the capital city of Sofia. In addition to a large-scale money-laundering scheme, the operation also targeted violations of Russia’s international sanctions.

Within 48 hours of raiding Nexo’s offices, four people familiar with the matter were charged with tax crimes, money laundering, computer fraud, and unlicensed banking. Later, two individuals were released on bail for $550,000. The other two aren’t in Bulgaria and have been announced as internationally wanted persons.

Prosecutor General spokesperson said that the case related to so-called “modern crimes in cyberspace”, extremely serious crimes. She further noted that the investigation was going on for months, along with international partner services.

Mileva further added that the transactions carried out by Nexo over the last five years totaled $94 billion.

Nexo Preparing for Lawsuit on Damages

Soon after Nexo’s office in Bulgaria was raided last week, the crypto lender complained about the law enforcement stating that they were preparing a lawsuit for damages caused by the abrupt police investigation. Besides, Nexo blamed the authorities for undertaking a “kick first, ask questions later” approach.

Furthermore, Nexo stated that the authorities didn’t provide a search warrant for hours and never identified themselves to other Nexo employees. In their clarification, Nexo noted:

“Over the years, we have turned down a lot of business because Nexo never makes compromises with regard to our very stringent anti-money laundering and know-your-customer policies. Since day 1, we have gone the extra mile to implement cutting-edge solutions to ensure adherence to the highest regulatory standards and simultaneously provide a smooth customer onboarding journey.

Unfortunately, with the recent regulatory crackdown on crypto, some regulators have recently adopted the kick first, ask questions later approach. In corrupt countries, it is bordering with racketeering, but that too shall pass”.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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