Russian billionaire, 53, is killed in helicopter crash near Monaco in latest crypto mystery death – ‘after another passenger cancelled at the last minute’
A Russian billionaire has become the latest cryptocurrency businessman to die in mysterious circumstances after his helicopter crashed in good weather near Monaco. Entrepreneur Vyacheslav Taran (pictured left), 53, died after the helicopter plunged near the resort town of Villefranche-sur-Mer after taking off from Lausanne in Switzerland. 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. Taran, the co-founder of trading and investment platform Libertex and Forex Club, was flying from Lausanne with an experienced pilot in a single-engined H130 helicopter when it crashed at around 1pm on November 25. A 35-year-old French pilot was also killed. The deputy public prosecutor of Nice, who visited the scene, has said the fault of a third party could not be ruled out.
Another unidentified passenger had been due to join Taran on the flight, but they cancelled last minute, according to local Press. Taran — a highly successful offshore specialist who has lived in Monaco for the past ten years — has three children with wife Olga, founder of Hello Monaco media. Ukrainian news agency UNIAN claimed, without citing proof, that Taran was a ‘billionaire crypto businessman with likely ties to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.’ The report alleged he was linked to the SVR foreign espionage agency and was responsible for ‘laundering Russian funds through a system of cryptocurrency operations.’
The crash has led to an outpouring of condolences in Monaco. ‘It is with great sadness that Libertex Group confirms the death of its co-founder and chairman of board of directors, Vyacheslav Taran, after a helicopter crash that took place en route to Monaco on Friday, 25 November 2022,’ said a statement from the financier’s company. ‘The board of directors of Libertex Group and company employees extend their most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the Taran family.’ The 53-year-old businessman was ‘a well-known and highly respected businessman, described as kind-hearted, polite and humble by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him,’ his company said. Pictured: Taran with his wife Olga and their three children.
A formal investigation has been launched into the crash by the French authorities and Airbus, makers of the H130. 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.’
Recent deaths also include Ivan Pechorin, 39, director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, who ‘fell overboard’ from his yacht in September. Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, a PR manager for the Russian Railways, who was shot dead in his Moscow apartment the same month, and Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom executive, who was found hanged at his house, also in Moscow. Pictured: Vyacheslav Taran, with his daughter Katya and wife Olga in Dubai in 2020.
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