Binance Plays Role in U.S. Sanctions Against Russian Crypto Exchange

Binance Plays Role in U.S. Sanctions Against Russian Crypto Exchange


Key Takeaways

Binance has revealed its collaboration with law enforcement agencies on an investigation against Suex.
Suex is a Russian crypto exchange has been sanctioned by U.S. for laundering assets connected with ransomware attacks.
Suex’s illicit activities appeared on Binance’s radar after an in-house investigation on internal safeguards.

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Leading crypto exchange Binance has aided the OFAC’s investigation into the Russian crypto exchange Suex OTC.

Binance Reports Ransomware-Linked Money Laundering

One of the top global crypto exchanges, Binance, revealed it has collaborated with law enforcement agencies on sanctions taken against Suex, a Russian crypto exchange that allegedly laundered money for cybercriminals.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a set of actions to be taken against crypto addresses belonging to Suex–a Russian exchange found laundering assets connected with ransomware attacks.

In a blog post, Binance detailed its collaboration with law enforcement agencies. Speaking on the matter, the exchange said:

“Based on a comprehensive audit by our investigative team, several accounts related to the addresses mentioned in the OFAC announcement were identified earlier this year and had appropriate action taken against them.”

Ransomware attacks have become a major concern for various government institutions worldwide, costing over $400 million in 2020, four times the levels in 2019. Various experts in the U.S. and across the globe have called ransomware a national security threat.

According to Binance, Suex’s illicit activities appeared on its radar after an internal audit of the exchange’s records. After this, Binance shared its findings against Suex with U.S. law enforcement agencies.

Months before OFAC sanctions against Suex were made, Binance had already banned crypto addresses from the Russian exchange. The decision was made due to internal safeguards against money laundering. Binance also shared its findings with the appropriate authorities, the exchange said.

It is worth noting that despite Binance’s recent collaboration with authorities, the exchange itself has previously faced several regulatory issues.

In 2021, regulators from the U.K., Japan, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and others countries warned the exchange about offering services to their citizens without proper registration and KYC verification. However, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the exchange’s CEO, has since promised a transition to a state of proactive compliance.

The Binance CEO has also stated plans to shift Binance to a centralized headquarters and quit its current decentralized operations for compliance needs. The exchange has even hired investigators and ex-officers from top agencies to help the platform comply with financial laws.

To meet this regulatory compliance goal, the firm has implemented full KYC norms for all traders on its platform. However, before the rule, Binance had been offering services to unverified users for some years, potentially allowing the platform to be used for nefarious activities. Due to this, Binance was also reportedly investigated by U.S. agencies for violations of AML regulations.

Binance’s recent cooperation with U.S. authorities and improvement of its KYC and AML procedures may help the exchange to reduce the troubles it has faced with regulators.

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