A Thai court on Wednesday decided to extradite a 47yearold Russian cybercrime suspect, Dmitry Ukrainsky, who is accused of stealing $28.5 million (Bt886 million) from the bank accounts of citizens of several countries, to the US.
The court verdict, read at the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court in Bangkok, said Ukrainsky faced charges of fraud and moneylaundering, crimes that carry prison sentences of 12 months or more.
They could also not be categorised as political offences and their statute of limitation hadn’t yet expired, so the case fitted the criteria to allow his extradition as the US authorities had requested. The court said Ukrainsky had already completed a term of imprisonment for moneylaundering, an offence which had taken place in Thailand.
Although Ukrainsky maintained his innocence in the fraud and moneylaundering accusations, the court said it had taken into consideration the fact that a US court had issued arrest warrants for him and his accomplice, an Uzbekistan woman Olga Komova, 28.
The two defendants were arrested in Thailand three years ago at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and accused of sending malware to their victims’ emails. The malware then sent back the usernames and passwords to their online bank accounts.
The FBI traced the transactions and found that they had been wired to Thailand, so it asked Thai police to apprehend the pair. Ukrainsky was nabbed in Pattaya City, where he had been running several firms renting yachts to tourists, while Komova was apprehended at a hotel on Koh Chang, where she had been working.
Following her arrest, Komova had agreed to be extradited to the US, where she was sentenced over the same charge.