Bitcoin Exchange Executive Kidnapped in Ukraine

Crime, News | December 29, 2017 By:

Pavel Lerner, the head of Analytics and Trading for UK-based bitcoin exchange EXMO, has reportedly been kidnapped in Ukraine.

According to local media reports, 40-year-old Lerner was kidnapped while leaving his office in Kiev’s Obolon district on December 26. He was dragged into a car by force and taken away to an unknown destination. Kiev police officers confirmed that they are investigating a kidnapping that took place on the day in question, but would not confirm his identity.

Kiev police said they are considering all possible leads in the case. Security officials have published the registration number of the vehicle used in the attack and are currently conducting search operations.

Lerner is a Russian citizen who holds a residence permit in Poland. Lerner once headed a department at Kursk State University and has run a number of startups in Ukraine in the fields of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency mining.

EXMO is based in Polegate, England. According to its website, the company has workers in Spain, Russia, India, and Thailand, as well as “financial advisers” from the UK, US, Lithuania, and Singapore.

An unnamed EXMO representative stated that because Lerner was doing analytical tasks at EXMO and not overseeing the day-to-day business, the activity of the exchange would remain unaffected.

“We are doing everything possible to speed up the search for Pavel Lerner,” the representative said. “The company would be grateful for any information to aid in the search for Pavel. Despite everything, the platform is working as usual. Pavel’s activity in the company does not affect the access to cold storage or other user information.”