The legal troubles of the world’s leading crypto exchange Binance continue to mount, as a new report suggests that the exchange has been under investigation in France since the beginning of 2022.
According to According to a report published in the French newspaper Le Monde, the France-based branch of the crypto exchange has been the subject of a preliminary investigation – conducted by the Financial Judicial Investigation Office under the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Paris – since February 2022.
The Paris prosecutor’s office reportedly cited “acts of illegal exercise of the function of a digital asset service provider (PSAN) and acts of aggravating money laundering by participating in investment operations, concealment, conversion, the latter being carried out by perpetrators of crimes that led to profit”. as a basis for investigation.
Binance allegedly did not follow or comply with Know Your Customer procedures that screen users and potential money laundering activities.
The crypto exchange allegedly did not obtain an operating license and was illegally offering its services to French customers. From 2019, crypto exchanges must obtain the approval of the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) for their activity. However, Binance, which has been operating in France since 2020, is said to have received AMF approval only in May 2022.
A Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph:
“Binance invests significant time and resources in cooperating with law enforcement agencies worldwide. We comply with all laws in France, as we do in every other market in which we operate. We will not comment on the specifics of law enforcement or regulatory investigations other than to state that information about our users is securely stored and provided to government officials only upon receipt of documented appropriate justification.”
News of the investigation in France comes weeks after a lawsuit against the crypto exchange in the United States. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has made 13 charges against the US subsidiary of crypto exchange Binance.US and CEO Changpeng Zhao.