Alleged ‘Hacker of Imanta’ handed over to US marshals

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Extradition proceedings were commenced Thursday morning against Deniss Čalovskis, his attorney Ilona Bulgakova told Latvian Radio.

According to the State Police, Čalovskis, the so-called ‘Hacker of Imanta’ accused of being part of a ring of internet hackers that defrauded millions of bank account holders around the world, was handed over to US marshals service officers early this morning.

"I can confirm that Mr Čalovskis has been handed over to US Marshals and he is already out of Latvia's jurisdiction," police spokesman Toms Sadovskis told LSM on Thursday afternoon.

Bulgakova said they arrived without warning and barely allowed time for him to bid farewell to his mother.

Recent news reports had stated that Čalovskis was preparing to hand himself in to US authorities in good faith. On Wednesday the police announced that extradition proceedings had been formally launched but declined to comment on when the actual deportation might take place.

Calovskis' extradition had been held up for several months while he launched an unsuccessful appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which rejected his claim that he would not be able to face a fair trial in the US.

Fellow suspects, Russian Nikita Kuzmin and Romanian Mihai Ionut Paunescu, are already in custody in the US.

The trio are accused of using malware dubbed the "Gozi Virus", to infiltrate computers across Europe and the US, causing millions of dollars' worth of losses to bank account holders.

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