Payment of redemption
The general director of the EXMO cryptocurrency exchange, stolen in Kiev by a group of unknown people, had to pay for himself a ransom of $1 million in bitcoins. The exchange claims that the leader who returned from captivity did not have access to the clients' wallets. This is reported by the Financial Times concerning the words of the adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko.
Gerashchenko told FT:He was kidnapped by an armed gang with the aim of extorting the bitcoins. We have operational information that he paid more than $1 million in bitcoin-equivalent.
The EXMO officially informed about the abduction and return of Lerner in the relevant statement. The payment of the ransom is not stated in the application. EXMO specifies that Lerner is safe, physically he is OK, but he is under severe stress, and shortly he will refrain from commenting.
The exchange notes that Lerner, being the head of the company, does not nevertheless have access to users' wallets. The BBC told that he was not the general director, as indicated in his profile on LinkedIn, but the head of the analytical department.
The EXMO writes that the abduction of Lerner did not affect her work. However, at the time of the incident, the exchange informed on Twitter about a breakdown in work as a result of committing a DDoS attack on its server on December 28.
The abduction of Lerner
The CEO of the popular EXMO crypto exchange, Russian citizen Pavel Lerner, was abducted in Kiev on December 26. The application for abduction was received by the district police department of the Obolonsky district of the city of Kiev. The application was filed late in the evening on December 26 with Lerner's acquaintances, concerned that he did not have lunch. Law enforcement authorities provisionally classified the incident as kidnapping, according to part 2 of article 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
According to the applicant, Lerner was abducted near the office center on Stepan Bandera Street where he worked. A group of unknown people in dark clothes and balaclava forcibly put the director of EXMO in a Mercedes-Benz Vito car with the number AA 2063 MT, after which the car left. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident.
Who is Lerner
Pavel Lerner, 40, is a citizen of Russia, while he has a residence permit in Poland, and since 2014 lives with his family in Barcelona, Spain. Known as a specialist in the field of block-technologies, the general director of EXMO. According to his acquaintances, in Ukraine, he developed some start-ups working in the field of crypto-currency, mining and blocking. Lerner's native city is Kursk.
Exmo Exchange started its work in 2013 as an ExMoney exchange. The company itself is registered in the UK but works in Ukraine. There are 46 trading pairs on the exchange, including bitcoin and ether for ruble and hryvnia. It is one of the largest crypto-currency exchanges where operations with ruble are possible.
To establish that Lerner is the CEO of EXMO, it is not difficult - as noted profile media, he does not hide his identity: he runs the exchange under the name of Paltiel Lerner (Paltiel Lerner), gives interviews. It is registered with the exmo.me domain, used by the exchange after Roskomnadzor's blocking of the former exmo.com domain. Let's remind, the blocking was carried out in January 2017 on the basis of the decision of the Primorsky district of the court of St. Petersburg, adopted in August 2016.
Information Source: Financial Times