In a recent revelation, Siika Mileva, spokesperson for Bulgaria’s chief prosecutors, has commented on the ongoing case against crypto lending and trading platform Nexo.
As per local media reports, Mileva has denied any political motivations behind the probe against the firm, which come as a response to the accusations of bias being targeted on the firm. There were talks that the entire investigation was connected to the company’s political donations.
Mileva said that it is common that in most cases where the prosecutor has launched the investigation harms the financial interest of someone or the other, which eventually calls for attacks and accusations. He cites it to be a rather very common phenomenon and says:
“It has become a national sport to attack the institutions.”
On January 12, a group of Bulgarian prosecutors and national and international investigators launched a probe into Nexo and raided the office in the capital city, Sofia. The investigating agencies have accused the firm of a large-scale money laundering practice and violations of sanctions against Russia.
Soon after the investigation was launched, Nexo officials shared their thoughts and stance on Twitter and condemned the attitude of the regulators. The company also shared that they were preparing a lawsuit against the regulator for the damages caused by the abrupt police intervention. It described the regulator’s approach as “kick first, ask questions later.” Nexo also said that the investigators did not provide a search warrant for hours and neither cared to identify themselves to the employees.
Within 48 hours of the start of the investigation, the officials pressed charges against four company employees. The individuals were arrested for money laundering, tax crimes, computer fraud, and unlicensed banking. According to the sources, two of these individuals were released on bail of nearly $550,000, whereas the two others have not been traced in Bulgaria and have been declared internationally wanted persons.
Mileva also said that the transactions carried out by the firm had totaled $94 billion in five years, and he briefed media that an organized criminal group operating in several countries since the start of 2018 has been under investigation.
Nexo has been operating as an investment platform where users can stake and borrow against crypto since the start of 2018. Notably, the company has offices in Bulgaria but does not provide services due to regulatory issues. It also has offices in the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, and Switzerland.
In December last year, the firm announced it would phase out its United States operations because of a lack of clarity in cooperation with the authorities.