11 Mar 2022 20:21

ChronoPay founder Vrublevsky detained on suspicion of fraud - Russian Interior Ministry

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - Law enforcement officials in Moscow detained Pavel Vrublevsky, founder of the international processing company ChronoPay, and his three accomplices on suspicion of fraud, the Russian Interior Ministry press service said.

"Officials from the Investigative Department of the Russian Interior Ministry are investigating a criminal case involving fraud committed by an organized group. The presumed leader and three active participants in a criminal business were detained during investigative and operative actions," the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

According to police data, Pavel Vrublevsky, founder of the international processing company ChronoPay, and his acquaintances have knowingly published on the Internet false information with offers of financial reward for participation in polls and for successful prediction of currency and share rates since 2019. The people also invited citizens to participate in exchange trading and other financial transactions, promising considerable profits.

"The offenders used a resource controlled by them to receive donations on social networks and on streaming services to steal money from a broad range of persons under the pretexts of payment for registration on Internet sites or commission for financial rewards," the ministry said.

An investigator will charge the four detainees with fraud in the near future, after which a decision will be made as to restrictions on them.

An informed source earlier told Interfax about Vrublevsky's detention.

More than 30 searches were conducted in residential and office spaces in Moscow and the Moscow, Vladimir, and Voronezh regions during the investigation, the Interior Ministry said. Eighteen people were questioned as witnesses.

"More than 100 servers and other computer equipment, more than $350,000, 35,000 euro and other objects that have significance as evidence were seized," the press center said.

Vrublevsky is the owner and general director of the processing company ChronoPay, an operator of Internet payments using bank cards. The company ensures almost half of all payments made by card in the Russian segment of the Internet.

Vrublevsky's name was mentioned in media reports in connection with the case of Sergei Mikhailov, former head of the Information Security Center of the Russian Federal Security Service, who was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for high treason in 2019. There is information that the investigators have found that Mikhailov provided to Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) officials through mediators in 2011 data on operational search activities on the case of Vrublevsky, who is considered a cybercriminal in the United States.

It was reported on Friday that Vrublevsky was in a temporary detention facility at Petrovka in Moscow, "Vrublevsky is in a cell intended for three people in the temporary detention facility at Petrovka, 38. He told Public Monitoring Commission officials he does not admit his guilt of fraud," Olga Druzhinina, a member of the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission, told Interfax.

There is no TV set or a refrigerator in the cell, but Vrublevsky has no complaints about the living conditions in detention and has no health complaints, she said.