Pavel Lerner, CEO of UK-registered bitcoin exchange Exmo who was reportedly kidnapped this week, has been found safe and well in Ukraine. The case is currently under investigation of the state security authorities, a spokesman told Finance Magnates.

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EXMO said in a statement that Russian-born Lerner is safe now, and there was no physical harm inflicted on him. He is trying to get through the situation, but is currently in a state of major stress, therefore, Mr. Lerner will not provide any official comments in the coming days.

How the story began to unravel …

On December 26, Pavel Lerner, 40, ‎was captured by a group of unknown masked people while leaving his office in Kiev’s Obolon ‎district, and all the connection with him ceased for several days. The programmer was dragged into a Mercedes Vito car by unknown persons in dark clothes and disappeared. On December 29, the exchange team managed to get a hold of Pavel.

EXMO’s spokesman thanked the public and media for their phenomenal support in sharing appeal to trace their missing analyst, however, she noted that the story of Pavel’s abduction has overgrown with rumors that might tamper with the official investigation. As such, EXMO currently refrains from any comments or suggestions of own versions of the possible scenario, until the end of the investigation.

Earlier today, Exmo PR Manager‎ told Finance Magnates that Pavel is an analyst of EXMO exchange (unlike stated by the majority of media, he is not the platform’s CEO or director). She added that: “Despite the situation, the exchange is working as usual. We also want to stress that nature of Pavel’s job at EXMO doesn’t assume access either to storages or any personal data of users. All users funds are absolutely safe.”

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