Binance blocks nearly 300 Nigerian accounts under government pressure
Allegedly, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (or CZ) informed some customers in a letter that the decision was made to ensure the safety of users, but also at the request of international law enforcement authorities.
“Currently, we have resolved 79 cases and continue to work with others. All cases related to violations, but without legal involvement, will be resolved within two weeks”, assured CZ.
The news comes amid several regulatory and serious problems for the cryptocurrency exchange.
This month, Binance’s regulatory issues reached a tipping point.
According to a Reuters investigation, CZ “ignored” warnings about weak “know your customer” (or KYC) checks, designed to be the first line of defense against money laundering and other illicit activities.
In 2019, a message sent by former Global Director of Money Laundering Notifications Karen Long stated that CZ did not want any KYC.
In a text message, Samuel Lim, Chief Compliance Officer, had stated: “Damn, why involve fiduciaries if you don’t want to comply with compliance. It’s so ironic KK. Stay completely in crypto, man. Jesus”.
The Reuters investigation also found that Binance failed to help German law enforcement officers in relation to 44 letters questioning €2 million (almost $2.2 million) in transactions that could involve stolen and laundered funds.
Previously, the crypto exchange had drawn the ire of regulators across the world.
In the Netherlands and Japan, regulators have issued warnings to consumers about the broker. Italy and the Cayman Islands said Binance is not licensed to operate in their respective countries.
In Malaysia, regulators have taken enforcement action against Binance for operating illegally in the jurisdiction.
In Singapore, Binance announced that it was withdrawing its application to obtain a license after regulators placed the company on the city-state’s Investor Alert List.
British regulators have also issued a warning to clients against the crypto exchange.
They reinforced that warning two months later, claiming that Binance Markets Limited (the UK exchange entity) was unable to be regulated after failing to provide basic information to regulators.