Binance is also under investigation, according to a report by Le Monde. The news agency cited the Paris public prosecutor’s office, saying that Binance is suspected of carrying out financial operations without licensing.
Aggravated money laundering
It also stated that the authorities in France are investigating the cryptocurrency exchange for “aggravated money laundering” due to poor anti-money laundering checks in its operations.
It stated that the prosecutors office is investigating Binance based on the fact that the France subsidiary of the company started providing services to French citizens prior to its registration with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the financial regulator in France. Binance registered with AMF as a digital asset provider in May 2022.
The report said that Binance’s France subsidiary canvassed for and started operating in France prior to the authorization by the regulator. The prosecutor’s office said that the case has been referred to the country’s agency in charge of financial crimes.
“The documentary and computer elements collected during the search will now have to be the subject of an in-depth study,” the prosecutor said.
It’s not news – CZ
In a Twitter post in response to the report, Changpeng Zhao, the Binance CEO, wrote,
FUD. In France, surprise (no advance notice) on-site inspections of regulated businesses are the norm, for banks and now for crypto too. The surprise visit by Binance France happened a couple of weeks ago. It’s not “news”. Binance France cooperated fully. “
France news broke after Netherland exit
Binance previously designated Paris and Dubai as its dual headquarters. The investigation by French prosecutors comes a day after Binance announced its exit from the Netherlands. The Dutch exit happened fourteen months after the company was fined €3,325,000 by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). The April 2022 imposition was for providing digital asset services in the Netherlands without the legally required registration with the DNB.
It is not certain if the Netherland exit, which Binance said was due to their inability to secure the necessary authorization, can be traced to the DNB fine.