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Canada fines Binance $4.38m for breach of money laundering laws

Canada fines Binance $4.38m for breach of money laundering laws
May 11
12:54 2024

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) has fined Binance, a popular cryptocurrency platform, “$6 million for violating the country’s money laundering and terrorist financing laws”.

According to international media, the fine is valued in Canadian dollars, bringing the total amount to USD4.38 million when converted.

In a recent statement on its website, FINTRAC said Binance had failed to register as a foreign money services business with the intelligence body.

The anti-money laundering agency said the cryptocurrency firm also failed to report large virtual currency transactions worth $10,000 or more.

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“FINTRAC announced today [Thursday] that it has imposed an administrative monetary penalty on Binance Holdings Limited, also operating as Binance Holdings (IE) Ltd., Binance.com, Binance Global and Binance,” the statement reads.

“This foreign money services business was imposed an administrative monetary penalty of $6,002,000 on May 7, 2024 for non-compliance with Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and its associated Regulations.

“Binance Holdings Limited was found to have committed the following administrative violations: Failure to register with FINTRAC as a foreign money services business; and failure to report large virtual currency transactions of $10,000 or more in the course of a single transaction, together with the prescribed information.”

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Commenting on the matter, Sarah Paquet, director and chief executive officer of FINTRAC, said the country’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime is in place to protect the safety of Canadians and the security of the nation’s economy.

“FINTRAC will continue to work with businesses to help them understand and comply with their obligations under the Act. We will also be firm in ensuring that businesses continue to do their part and we will take appropriate actions when they are needed.”

Adjudged to be the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance has been the subject of regulatory sanctions in some parts of the world.

On April 30, Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, was sentenced to four months in prison for money laundering, unlicensed money transmitting and violations in Seattle, United States (US).

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According to US officials, Zhao intentionally turned a blind eye to transactions that financed terrorism, the illegal drug trade, and child sex abuse.

Earlier in February, a federal judge in the US approved a plea deal by Binance, requiring the cryptocurrency exchange to pay over $4.3 billion in fines and reparations.

Binance is also under investigation for illicit operations and foreign exchange (FX) rate manipulation in Nigeria.

The firm, and two of its top officials — Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, the company’s head of financial crime compliance — were charged with tax evasion and money laundering by the federal government.

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The duo were arrested and detained on February 28 — but Anjarwalla escaped from custody in March.

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