In 2022, Binance along with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the US drug enforcement agency, intercepted $1.8 million in drug money, according to court documents. The money line that used Binance belonged to a Mexican drug cartel active in the US state of Michigan. The crypto exchange was used by the cartel to convert drug proceeds into stablecoins and send them back to Mexico.
DEA and Binance are joining forces
The $1.8 million in seized crypto was spread across six accounts that were busted in May 2022. According to the court, the accounts were used to convert cash proceeds from drug sales into stablecoins and bitcoin (BTC). These cryptocurrencies were then sent to an address of a criminal organization in Mexico.
The DEA and Binance have been working together for some time and share information about possible criminal activity on the trading platform. Chances are, however, that the $1.8 million in drug-related cryptocurrencies is just the tip of the iceberg. Crypto transactions are still a convenient way to move money. In 2021, Mexican “drug lord” Carlos Fong Echavarria pleaded guilty to smuggling and laundering $4.5 million worth of crypto.
Binance under pressure
The positive role Binance played in the confiscation is a nice change from the news of the last few weeks. The crypto exchange has seen better times in the media. For example, the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) aggressively went after BUSD, Binance’s stablecoin. According to the SEC, the issuance of the stablecoin would not proceed according to the rules. Meanwhile, the market capitalization of BUSD has plummeted.
A few days ago, the SEC also officially blocked Binance’s acquisition of Voyager. Voyager would have been guilty of offering crypto services without a license. Also, Voyager’s token, VGX, is said to be an unregistered security.