A prominent Russian blockchain specialist and known manager of Russia-based crypto-exchange EXMO was allegedly kidnapped by criminals during a business trip to Kiev.

On 26 December, 40-year-old Pavel Lerner, a Russian citizen, who also holds a residence permit for Poland, was abducted in the Ukranian capital of Kiev. The information comes from an anonymous source in Ukranian law enforcement agencies, the Ukranian news portal Strana reports.

According to the given information, Lerner was kidnapped near the office he worked in, located on the Stepan Bandera Avenue. Unknown people in dark clothes and balaclavas dragged the blockchain expert in their Mercedes-Benz Vito brand (state number AA 2063 MT) and drove away in an unknown direction.

Law enforcers began investigative actions, working out possible versions of what happened. Preliminary qualification of the incident is kidnapping of a person (part 2, article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Lerner's disappearance was not noticed until the evening of 26 December, the source in Ukranian law enforcement agencies said. His friend declared his abduction in the evening with a statement, referred to the Obolonsky district police department.

In Ukraine, Pavel Lerner participated in a number of start-ups related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.