Binance may be under investigation for sanctions violations against Russia

The crypto exchange Binance has reportedly become the subject of an investigation in the United States (US) into suspected violations of sanctions against Russia. The investigation focuses on whether the trading platform was used by Russians to circumvent financial restrictions imposed due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Investigating whether Russians have access to Binance

Bloomberg has revealed that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying to determine whether Binance Holdings, the operator of the world’s largest crypto exchange, has been used to enable Russians to evade Western sanctions. Multiple sources familiar with the matter were quoted by Bloomberg.

According to 5 anonymous individuals, the Ministry’s national security department is investigating whether its officials violated restrictions imposed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as part of a confidential investigation.

The report stated that “The probe, which has not been reported before, moves on a parallel track to an existing investigation by the criminal division, one of the people said,” pointing out that the move adds a new layer of investigation to the industry’s “troubled” leading crypto exchange.

Some restrictions would be lifted

At the end of April, Russian cryptocurrency news outlets reported that Binance has lifted some restrictions for Russian users. This news comes after the company is now under investigation for suspected violations of sanctions against Russia.

Russians are reportedly able to use their debit cards to make deposits and that the trading platform has canceled a limit on their funds that was set in line with EU sanctions.

Also, Binance is said to be currently in talks with the DOJ to resolve complaints related to previous allegations that the platform was used to circumvent sanctions against Iran before stricter compliance checks were introduced. In a statement, the company stressed that it fully complies with all US and international sanctions, explaining:

In 2021, Binance launched an initiative to completely overhaul its corporate governance structure, including bringing in a bank of world-class seasoned executives to fundamentally change the way Binance operates globally.

Zero tolerance policy is already in place

Binance has pointed out that the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocol is on par with that of the traditional banking system and that every user of the platform must go through these procedures, which include verifying country of residence and checking credentials. personal identification.

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The platform emphasized that it has a zero-tolerance policy towards duplicate registrations, anonymous identities, and suspicious money sources.

Binance is also involved in other US investigations, including an anti-money laundering compliance investigation led by the Internal Revenue Service and a lawsuit filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Finally, the Securities and Exchange Commission also investigated whether the platform supported trading in unregistered securities.

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