WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now facing expulsion from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been housed since 2012. The Australian was offered asylum and later Ecuadorian citizenship after absconding from Swedish authorities, who were previously seeking him on now dropped sexual assault charges. WikiLeaks said in a tweet today a source close to the Ecuadorian government confirmed they were working with the UK on arrest proceedings. Assange is sought after by US authorities for a number of government document leaks, and a separate warrant from the Metropolitan Police for violating bail in 2010.
How much is Julian Assange worth?
Julian Assange is still the head of WikiLeaks, which makes money from publisher funding, public donations and publishing.
However, the US government cut off the website’s banking in 2010, with major banks and transfer companies blocking donations.
In 2017, Assange said via the @DefendAssange Twitter account the website was forced to turn to bitcoin for donations.
He Tweeted: “My deepest thanks to the US government, Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman for pushing Visa, MasterCard, Payal, AmEx, Moneybookers, et al, into erecting an illegal banking blockade against @WikiLeaks starting in 2010.
“It caused us to invest in Bitcoin — with > 50000% return.”
According to bitcoinist.com, the donations to WikiLeaks pushed its worth up to £16 million ($22 million).
Assange himself has an estimated net worth of £306,000 ($400,000), according to Spear’s Magazine.
Julian Assange’s stay at the Ecuadorian embassy – which is situated behind Harrods in Knightsbridge – has been costing the government millions.
Due to the outstanding warrant from the Metropolitan Police, police monitor the embassy around the clock.
Should he ever step outside of the building, he would be arrested on sight.
The Met Police estimated in 2015 he was costing the government more than £11.1 million for just three years’ stay, but have released no further figures since then.
Talking to the Daily Telegraph, a spokesman from the Metropolitan Police revealed the cost details.
He said: “As with all long term operations, issues around resourcing are subject to regular review in an attempt to minimise costs.
“The estimated full cost [to April 2015] would be £11.1m.
“The costs provided are an estimate based on averages, as actual salary and overtime costs will vary daily.”