• Bulgarian authorities have charged four individuals following a raid on Nexo’s Sofia office.
• According to reports, the accused are accused of forming an organized crime group that may have included money laundering and unlicensed banking activities.
• Nexo has described the raid as a “kick first, ask questions later” approach, and plans to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages caused by police actions.
On January 13, 2021, Bulgarian authorities charged four individuals with forming an organized crime group following a raid on cryptocurrency lender Nexo’s offices in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Prosecutors accused the four Bulgarian nationals of engaging in a range of activities including money laundering and unlicensed banking.
The raid was conducted on January 12, with the National Police Service seizing assets such as cryptocurrency, cash and computers. Following the raid, Nexo released a statement describing the prosecutors’ actions as a “kick first, ask questions later” approach. The company also stated that it would be filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages caused by police actions, alleging that authorities did not show a search warrant or identify themselves to Nexo employees.
Nexo’s statement further asserted that the company was always cooperative with relevant authorities and regulators. The raid has been widely reported in the media, with the total number of views across different news platforms on the incident reaching 3009.
The raid has sparked a debate on the nature of cryptocurrency businesses, with some arguing that they should be subject to the same regulations as traditional financial institutions. Meanwhile, others have argued that the raid is indicative of the lack of clarity in cryptocurrency-related regulations and that more should be done to ensure that companies like Nexo are able to conduct their operations in a safe and compliant manner.