Bulgarian Police Raid Nexo Office
Prosecutors Allege Company Had a Hand in Terrorist Financing
By: Aleksandar Gilbert •Byte
Bulgarian prosecutors have accused Nexo, a centralized crypto lender based in the country, of servicing a client who “financed terrorist acts,” according to a local news report.
Bulgarian law enforcement has searched 15 addresses in connection with the probe, but it is unclear whether any arrests have been made, Bulgarian TV station bTV reported Thursday.
In a statement, Nexo spokesperson Magdalena Hristova said the company “believes it is a victim of an organized attack to disrupt its market-leading position.”
“Nexo is cooperating fully with authorities in Bulgaria in relation to inquiries underway at one of its local offices,” Hristova told The Defiant. “The inquiries relate to allegations around anti-money laundering (AML) and tax compliance. The entity where the inquiries are taking place is not customer-facing and handles back-office functions.”
Bulgarian prosecutor Siika Mileva said $94B in illicit money had passed through Nexo over the past five years and that Nexo hid the flows using “hollow companies,” bTV reported.
“Active investigation actions are being carried out on the territory of Sofia with the aim of neutralizing the illegal criminal activity of the Nexo crypto bank,” Mileva said. “The main organizers of this activity are Bulgarian citizens, and the main activity is from the territory of Bulgaria.”
Nexo bills itself as the “leading and most trusted lending institution” in crypto and holds over $2B in assets from 5M customers, according to auditing firm Armanino.
This is a developing story.