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Binance Faces New Probe In France & Exits Holland

 |  June 19, 2023

Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Binance is reportedly the target of a money laundering probe in France.

According to multiple published reports Friday (June 16), including one by Reuters, the crypto giant is being investigated by the Paris prosecutor’s office for “aggravated” money laundering and illegally operating as a digital asset provider.

“We had an on-site visit last week by the relevant authorities,” the company said in the tweet. “Binance, as always, was fully collaborative, and we met our obligations accordingly. We continue to work closely with regulators and law enforcement agencies on all ongoing compliance requirements to uphold high standards.”

On his Twitter account, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao added that the inspection by French authorities was part of a broader look into other Paris crypto businesses.

The investigation compounds the pressure on Binance, which is facing regulatory action around the world, including action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Related: EU Lawmaker Questions France’s Approval of Crypto Exchange Binance

It also came the same day that the company announced it is leaving the Netherlands after failing to get a license from the country’s central bank.

“Binance has been in a comprehensive registration application process as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) with the Dutch regulator,” the company said on its website. “Although we explored many alternative avenues to service Dutch residents in compliance with Dutch regulations, unfortunately this has not resulted in a VASP registration in the Netherlands at this time. Binance will continue striving to obtain authorizations to provide our products and services to users in the Netherlands.”

Last month, the company pulled out of Canada, saying that country’s “new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits provided to crypto exchanges makes the Canada market no longer tenable for Binance at this time.”

The SEC filed 13 charges against Binance and Zhao June 5, accusing the exchange of a range of securities law violations and saying it “engaged in an extensive web of deception.”

Binance responded by saying its assets are “safe and secure,” that the SEC has refused to offer guidance and clarity to the digital asset industry, and that “regulation by enforcement” is not the way to create an effective regulatory framework.