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Binance Faces Money-Laundering Probe in India; Malaysia Orders Closure



Two more Asian regulators are taking action against Binance as it continues to face backlash. On Friday, the Securities Commission Malaysia officially announced enforcement actions against the crypto exchange for illegally operating in the country.

The Malaysian regulator provided a 14-day deadline to Binance to wind up its businesses in the county by closing down its primary exchange and also the mobile application. Additionally, it ordered the exchange to immediately cease all marketing efforts and restrict Malaysian investors from accessing its Telegram group.

“Zhao, as the CEO of Binance Holdings Limited, has also been specifically ordered to ensure that the above directives are carried out,” the regulator stated.

Binance, along with eToro and several other platforms, was added to a list of blacklisted firms by the Malaysian regulator in July 2020.

Probe in India

Further, the Indian Enforcement Directorate has initiated a probe against Binance Holdings Ltd. over concerns of money laundering using the exchange and betting apps, local daily The Economic Times reported. 

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The Indian report outlined that the agency has summoned Binance executives for questioning, but did not hear back yet. However, neither the agency nor the exchange officially confirmed the probe.

WazirX, a subsidiary of Binance and the largest Indian crypto exchange, is already facing a probe by the anti-money laundering agency, which alleged that the platform had violated the country’s foreign exchange laws and issued a show-cause notice. But, Binance was not directly named, until now.

Money laundering using Chinese betting apps is rampant in India. These platforms are estimated to have received $134 million over the past 10 months. According to anonymous sources, operators of these apps used WazirX to purchase cryptocurrencies which are then transferred to Binance wallets.

Binance is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, but the exchange earlier confirmed that it does not operate any crypto exchange business from that base after a warning from the island’s financial market regulator. Though the crypto exchange operates around the globe, it does not have any formal headquarters.

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