The Russian-language cryptocurrency exchange WEX, the successor to the BTC-e trading platform that was closed by the FBI last year, may change its owner. The buyer is a former militiaman known as Moryachok (Sailor), close to authorities of pro-Russian separatist Republic of Donetsk.

Dmitry Khavchenko, a former militiaman from Donbass, with the nickname Sailor, told RBC about his plans to acquire cryptocurrency exhcnage WEX. The latter is a successor to the BTC-e crypto exchange, closed after the arrest of Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik in Greece at the request of the US Justice Department. Khavchenko was one of those who passed the flight recorders of Malaysian Boeing-777, shot down over the Donbass, to the Malaysian authorities.

Khavchenko claims that he began to deal with cryptocurrencies before the war in the Donbass. According to him, the blockchain technology makes it possible to transfer money to all the unrecognized separatist republics, bypassing all sanctions, not only the Donbass, but also in Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

WEX was launched in the fall of 2017. It made a commitment to BTC-e customers, promising them to refund their deposits freezed by SU special services agents. The official operator of the exchange is the Singapore-based company World Exchange Services. Its only founder is Dmitry Vasiliev, the 31-year-old native of Minsk.

At the end of April 2018, Khavchenko signed an agreement of intentions with Dmitry Vasilyev, according to which the parties had previously agreed on a deal to sell the Wex to Khavchenko. The amount of the deal is not disclosed.

According to RBC sources, Vasiliev keep in touch with Timofey Musatov, the lawyer of arrested in Greece Vinnik, suspect of money laundering. Musatov is known as business partner of Natalia Kaspersky and is famous for his pro-Russian conservative opinions. The reason for Vasiliev to get in touch with this business circle is to find support and protection for his crypto business in Russia.

According to rumors, he found this support from Konstantin Malofeev, the owner of the Tsargrad group and one of the founders of the Secure Internet League. According to EU Regulation No 826/2014 from 30 July 2014, Malofeev is closely linked to Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

There is no official confirmation of WEX links to Malofeev, but the RBC journalist, introducing himself as a person looking to buy Wex-codes worth $240,000, appointed a meeting with the representatives of the WEX crypto exchange in a building where the Tsargrad group's headquarters is located. After that meeting, the journalist said to Wex representative that there is a rumor in the crypto community, that Wex has something to do with Tsargrad and Malofeev. "I will not tell you anything, but you're smart, you really surprised me," said Wex representative without elaborating.