Russian crypto millionaire dies in unexplained helicopter crash

Russian crypto millionaire dies in unexplained helicopter crash
Photo: Kanchanara F - Unsplash

A Russian cryptocurrency trader, Vyacheslav Taran, has died in a helicopter crash whilst travelling from Switzerland to Monaco. According to Ukrainian media agencies, Taran had maintained a close relationship with the Russian intelligence services up until his death. 

Czech news site iDNES has reported that the helicopter flight on which Taran died was operated by an experienced pilot in clear weather, and until now, investigators have not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of a third party in the crash. As well as the 53-year-old Russian, the 35-year-old pilot was also killed. One other person was supposed to be on the trip but cancelled at the last minute. 

Taran lived in Monaco with his three children and his wife and Ukraine’s Unian agency reported that he maintained an active relationship with Russian intelligence. This relationship was allegedly based on Taran helping to launder Russian money via cryptocurrency operations. In the past, he had founded the successful trading platforms Libertex and Forex Club. 

Taran is now the third high-profile cryptocurrency trader to die in recent weeks. On Monday, the 30-year-old founder of Amber Group and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Tiantian Kullander died in his sleep. This was preceded by the death of millionaire Nikolak Mushegian, who drowned in Puerto Rico in, so far, unclear circumstances. 

Taran is just the latest Russian to die in mysterious circumstances since the start of the war in Ukraine, with others including 72-year-old Viktor Cherkesov, a former mentor to Vladimir Putin, and high-ranking Gazprom manager Alexander Tyulakov, who was found hanged in his Moscow home. 

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