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  • By The Financial District

Chopper Crash In France Kills Russian Crypto Billionaire

A Russian billionaire has become the latest cryptocurrency businessman to die in mysterious circumstances after his helicopter crashed in good weather near Monaco.


Photo Insert: Taran, the co-founder of trading and investment platform Libertex and Forex Club, was flying from Lausanne with an experienced pilot in a single-engine H130 helicopter when it crashed at around 1pm on November 25.



Entrepreneur Vyacheslav Taran, 53, died after the helicopter plunged near the resort town of Villefranche-sur-Mer after taking off from Lausanne in Switzerland, Will Stewart and Rachael Bunyan reported for the UK’s Mailonline.


Taran is the third cryptocurrency entrepreneur to die unexpectedly in the past few weeks. Tiantian Kullander, 30, died “in his sleep” last week, while fellow crypto millionaire Nikolai Mushegian, 29, drowned on a Puerto Rico beach after tweeting that he feared the CIA and Mossad were going to murder him.



Since the crash that killed Taran happened in good, clear weather - and after another passenger reportedly cancelled last minute - mystery now surrounds the billionaire's death.


The deaths mean at least five cryptocurrency tycoons have died unexpectedly since 2018, at times triggering wild and unfounded conspiracy theories.


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The two others, Gerald Cotten and Matthew Mellon, died without sharing the keys to crypto wallets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, leaving the funds inaccessible.


Taran, the co-founder of trading and investment platform Libertex and Forex Club, was flying from Lausanne with an experienced pilot in a single-engine H130 helicopter when it crashed at around 1pm on November 25


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A 35-year-old French pilot was also killed. The deputy public prosecutor of Nice, who visited the scene, said the fault of a third party could not be ruled out. Ukrainian news agency UNIAN claimed, without citing any evidence, that Taran was a “billionaire crypto businessman with likely ties to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.”


A number of Russian businessmen have died in mysterious circumstances since the start of Russia's war in Ukraine. Earlier this month, Viktor Cherkesov, 72, a close KGB spy and mentor of Vladimir Putin who was demoted after publicly criticizing the Kremlin leader, died from an unexplained “serious disease'.”


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Recent deaths also include Ivan Pechorin, 39, director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corp., who “fell overboard” from his yacht in September. Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, a PR manager for the Russian Railways, was shot dead in his Moscow apartment the same month and Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom executive, was found hanged at his house, also in Moscow.



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