Binance Joins Thai Law Enforcement in $277 Million Crypto Scam Bust

Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Representative French Hill (R-Arkansas) have jointly called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to swiftly wrap up its investigations into cryptocurrency platforms Binance and Tether and decide if they should face prosecution for allegedly supporting terrorist organizations like Hamas.

Yes, this is just as serious as it sounds. Read on for more details.

Innovation Wins!

Senator Lummis and Representative Hill are excited about the potential improvements in U.S. financial markets brought by technologies like distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies. They stress that it’s unfair to label all cryptocurrency businesses as dishonest just because a few individuals are involved in illegal activities. They point out that many cryptocurrency entities are committed to following money laundering and sanctions rules.

Terrorist Groups and Crypto Funding

A report from The Wall Street Journal on October 10, 2023, disclosed that terrorist groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah have been receiving funds through cryptocurrency assets since August 2021. While the exact amount remains uncertain, Lummis and Hill believe that the DOJ should prosecute those who help with these unlawful activities.

Also Read: Crypto Crackdown: Global Action Taken Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict and Terrorism Links

Binance Under Investigation

VIDEO: Lawmakers Urge DOJ to Decide on Binance and Tether’s Role in Crypto
Crypto World Daily

Binance, an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles, is under DOJ scrutiny. Recent reports reveal that over 100 Binance accounts linked to Hamas have been closed since hostilities erupted on October 7, 2023. Israeli authorities have also reported seizing more than 190 Binance accounts connected to terrorism between 2021 and 2023.

Worryingly, Binance is accused of allowing terrorist groups to create accounts and conduct financial transactions, potentially breaking federal laws. The exchange is also accused of neglecting customer due diligence and screening, which enables the funding of terrorist activities.

Also Read: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Sees $12 Billion Decline in Net Worth

Tether Faces Investigation

VIDEO: Israel-Palestine War: Hamas-linked crypto accounts frozen by Israeli police | WION

Tether, a stablecoin issuer with offices in Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands, is also under the spotlight. A report from the Financial Times on October 16, 2023, revealed that Tether froze 32 addresses in Israel and Ukraine tied to Hamas and organizations with links to Russia at the request of Israeli law enforcement.

Despite knowing its product can be used for illicit purposes, Tether is accused of not doing enough to verify its customers and screen transactions. The company’s leaders are reportedly under investigation for bank fraud related to their use of U.S. financial services. Tether has previously faced penalties from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission for making misleading claims about its reserves.

Crackdowns Are About to Intensify

VIDEO: Crypto News Update: Israeli Authorities Freeze Hamas-Linked Accounts, Binance UK Restrictions, World

Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill are urging the Department of Justice to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the extent of Binance and Tether’s involvement in supporting terrorism by violating sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act. They strongly support quick legal action against these platforms to cut off funding sources for terrorist activities targeting Israel.

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Qadir Ak is the founder of Coinpedia. He has over a decade of experience writing about technology and has been covering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2010. He has also interviewed a few prominent experts within the cryptocurrency space.