Breaking: DOJ Probes Whether Russia Used Binance To Elude Sanctions
Per a Bloomberg report, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, over yet another potential use of alleged criminal activity. This time, U.S. authorities are looking into Russian agents’ using the platform to circumvent financial sanctions.
Imposed on the country in 2022 for invading Ukraine, Russia has been supposedly moving money via Binance. The report cites five people familiar with the matter. The DOJ’s national security division leads the investigation.
Binance Faces Yet Another Investigation From The U.S.
So far, authorities in the U.S. have been unable to determine whether Russia used the platform or whether someone inside Binance helped the country to avoid sanctions. In that sense, the DOJ is conducting two investigations against the crypto company, the other led by the DOJ’s criminal division.
As reported last year, the criminal investigation against the world’s largest exchange could see the company and top executives charged with anti-money laundering violations. The company is currently in talks with the DOJ and U.S. authorities to resolve these allegations, including whether U.S. adversaries are using it to circumvent sanctions.
The report cites a statement from the company regarding these investigations and its compliance with international law:
In 2021, Binance launched an initiative to completely overhaul its corporate governance structure, including bringing in a world-class bench of seasoned executives to fundamentally change how Binance operates globally. Our policy imposes a zero-tolerance approach to double registrations, anonymous identities, and obscure sources of money,
Almost all major regulators in the U.S. have their eye on Binance for similar reasons, but the exchange continues to try to clean its name. Today, Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, celebrated the company’s involvement in an investigation that arrested perpetrators charged with child abuse, drug trafficking, and public corruption.
The crypto exchange launched a six-part documentary portraying cooperation with international authorities across multiple jurisdictions. The company’s head of Financial Crimes Compliance, Tigran Gambaryan, stated the following about the ties with crypto and criminal activities:
The myth that crypto is anonymous that allows for illicit activity is actually quite the opposite. The fact that the transactions are publicly recorded leaves a permanent record of what actually occurred. Investigators that are using investigative tools, their investigative power, lawful power to request information, actually have an easier time, in many cases, identifying who is conducting these activities than they would in a traditional financial investigation.
Chart from Tradingview