Binance helps Taiwan solve $6.2M crypto fraud

Update (May 17, 12:30 PM UTC): This article has been updated to include comments from Binance exclusive to Cointelegraph. Additional reporting by Derek Andersen.

The Financial Crimes Compliance (FCC) department of Binance has joined forces with Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau and the Taipei District Prosecutors Office to tackle a large-scale money laundering case, resolving a 200 million New Taiwan dollars ($6.2 million) digital asset fraud.

According to an official statement, the operation facilitated criminals in washing illegal proceeds through cryptocurrency transactions. The scammers employed fake remittance documents, counterfeit identification information, and manipulated customer communication records to evade detection by law enforcement.

Source: Binance

In a statement provided to Cointelegraph, Binance was careful not to specify the case in question, although it said the operation had been reported in the media. According to Binance, the operation falsified documentation, including “fake customer conversation records, […] and forged identity verification data,” to give the impression that individual merchants were moving funds that totaled nearly NT$200 million (approximately $6 million).

Through collaborative efforts with Binance, Lo Wei-yuan, a prosecutor in the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, pieced together the complete picture of the suspicions of nine indicted individuals charged with offenses including money laundering, fraud and organized crime.

The release noted:

“Upon receiving the request, Binance set up a cross-border online meeting with the investigating officers and prosecutors to discuss the collaborative strategy.”

Binance has implemented measures and efforts beyond standard compliance, actively cooperating with law enforcement agencies worldwide. This includes the industry’s first training program for law enforcement — a coordinated effort worldwide to help law enforcement and prosecutors detect financial and cybercrimes and assist in prosecuting bad actors.

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In 2023, Binance applied to be registered under Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and Money Laundering Control Act. Local regulatory bodies have previously recognized the exchange’s collaborative efforts in assisting with investigations into digital asset fraud.

Additionally, in March, Binance hosted a virtual asset law enforcement training workshop for officers from the Keelung District Prosecutors Office in Taiwan, sharing its expertise to combat digital asset-related crimes.

Meanwhile, regulators in Taiwan are looking to introduce cryptocurrency regulations by the end of 2024. Huang Tianzhu, the chairman of the FSC, has raised concerns about cryptocurrencies being used for illegal activities and plans to bolster its oversight of crypto exchanges and impose penalties.

The proposed law would mean foreign cryptocurrency platforms risk criminal penalties unless they establish local branches and comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice recently proposed amendments to existing AML laws that could impose jail terms of up to two years for noncompliant firms and fines of up to $1.5 million. The amendments aim to strengthen the crackdown on fraud and strictly regulate money laundering prevention measures for crypto service providers.

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