Maximilian Rivkin, a Swedish citizen who was internationally wanted for serious drug offenses, has been arrested in Turkey. The arrest was announced by Turkey’s Minister of Interior, Ali Yerlikaya, on Saturday evening. Rivkin was wanted by both the United States and Sweden, with a reward of up to five million dollars offered for information leading to his capture.
The US Department of State issued a wanted notice for Rivkin on June 7th, followed by a similar notice from Swedish police two days later. According to the Swedish police, Rivkin is facing serious drug trafficking charges and is on the run after being remanded in custody by the Örebro District Court. The arrest warrant was issued two years ago, and he is suspected of committing drug-related offenses at multiple locations in Sweden.
Minister Ali Yerlikaya stated that Rivkin was one of the leaders of an international criminal network and had been wanted with a ”red notice” by Interpol. He also revealed that Rivkin had obtained Turkish citizenship with a false Bulgarian passport. The minister further mentioned that procedures to revoke Rivkin’s Turkish citizenship had been initiated.
Maximilian Rivkin came under the radar of the FBI in 2018 through the messaging service, Anom. The FBI had created this service, which was unknowingly used by criminals who were being monitored. In June 2021, the international law enforcement operation called Operation Trojan Shield led to the arrest of 800 individuals, including 155 in Sweden. Rivkin was identified by the FBI as one of the key figures involved in the distribution of the monitored Anom phones. He was one of 17 individuals charged with distributing the platform in the summer of 2021.
Between December 2020 and spring 2021, the FBI shared copies of Rivkin’s messages with the Swedish police. According to the US Department of State, these messages implicated him in plans involving murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, and kidnapping.
The Swedish police have not been able to confirm the Turkish Interior Minister’s statement regarding Rivkin’s arrest at the time of reporting. They stated that they currently do not have that information available.