Binance Under Investigation in France for Alleged Money Laundering

Sahana Kiran
Source – Unsplash

Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, continues to face a series of challenges and legal scrutiny. Following a lawsuit in the United States and being denied a license in the Netherlands, the exchange is now under investigation by French authorities.

According to recent reports, Binance is under investigation for ‘illegally’ offering its digital asset services to the public. In addition, the exchange was also accused of “acts of aggravated money laundering.” The latter allegedly involved competition with investment operations, concealment of funds, and conversion of illicit proceeds.

The Paris public prosecutor revealed that an investigation into Binance was conducted by the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Paris [JIRS]. As a result of this investigation, the case was subsequently referred to the Service d’Enquêtes Judiciaires des Finances [SEJF], which is a government entity focused on combating financial crimes. This took place in February 2022, suggesting that the investigation has been ongoing for some time. The Paris public prosecutor further added,

“The documentary and computer elements collected during the search will now have to be the subject of an in-depth study.”

Will Binance bid adiue to France?

It is important to mention that Binance has obtained registration as a digital asset service provider [DASP] with the French financial regulator. This license was granted to the exchange in May 2022. Furthermore, during its announcement regarding its withdrawal from the Dutch market, Binance noted its commitment to achieving compliance with MiCA. However, given the ongoing investigation by French regulators into alleged money laundering activities linked to Binance, there is skepticism within the community about the firm’s ability to obtain a MiCA license in the future. While the community sought clarity, Binance France’s President, David Prinçay took to Twitter to address the issue. He wrote,

“In France, on-site inspections by regulators and inspectors are part of the regulatory obligations that all financial institutions must comply with. We had a site visit last week by the competent authorities. Binance, as always, has been fully collaborative and fully met obligations. We continue to work closely with regulators and law enforcement agencies on all ongoing compliance requirements to maintain high standards.”

He further noted that Binance has been complying with all laws in France. However, he noted that the firm will refrain from commenting on the “specifics of law enforcement or regulatory investigations except to say that information about our users is held securely and only provided to government officials upon receipt of appropriately documented justification.”