In light of recent concerns raised by a Reuters report, Binance has issued a statement addressing its compliance policies about preventing and combating the use of crypto to finance terrorism. According to a Binance blog post, it is unaware of any other exchange or financial institution doing more than it is to keep bad actors at bay.
Addressing Terrorism Financing
To reinforce its commitment to combating money laundering and terrorism financing, Binance has asserted that its policies and procedures comply with the Anti-Money Laundering Directive 5/6 (AMLD5/6). Additionally, the exchange has a comprehensive compliance program incorporating advanced anti-money laundering measures.
Binance further emphasized its determination to tackle suspicious activities by revealing that it has advanced tools to identify and address any questionable actions on its platform. Moreover, the exchange has a team of experts who have devoted their careers to counter-terrorism and are always ready to act promptly if any such activities are detected.
According to the exchange, it has previously intervened and taken appropriate against erring entities by freezing their accounts and collaborating with law enforcement agencies when necessary. Binance noted that as a notable cryptocurrency exchange, one critical indicator of its compliance with regulatory authorities is its ability to detect and promptly respond to any questionable transactions.
Targeting Crypto Accounts Linked To Terrorism Financing
According to newly released documents from the Israeli counter-terrorism force, it has frozen nearly 190 crypto accounts on the Binance exchange since 2021. Two of the numerous accounts identified had connections with the Islamic State of Palestine.
Additionally, many other accounts were allegedly owned by Palestinian companies believed to be associated with the Islamist organization Hamas. Israel’s recent actions indicate their continued efforts to combat the use of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorist operations.
This serves as a reminder that increased regulation and oversight are vital components of the cryptocurrency industry. They can help prevent malicious actors’ exploitation of digital currencies.
Reuters conducted an investigation based on information provided by Israel’s counter-terrorism officials. Its research revealed that on January 12th, the National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing (NBCTF) published memos signed by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.
These documents indicated that Israel had frozen two accounts of a 28-year-old Palestinian named Osama Abuoyada, allegedly linked to ISIS. In addition, the NBCTF stated on its website that the freezing of the accounts was intended to disrupt the operations of the Islamic State and hinder its ability to achieve its objectives.
Meanwhile, the NBCTF document, which has not been previously reported, has yet to disclose the amount of cryptocurrency seized or the specific link between the frozen funds and the Islamic State. Benny Gantz, who previously served as Israel’s defense minister, designated Al Mutahadun as a terrorist organization following accusations that it had provided financial assistance to Hamas, a recognized terrorist group.
Industry experts believe that the recent actions taken by Israel’s NBCTF indicate how governments are increasingly clamping down on crypto companies to prevent illicit activities. Meanwhile, Hazem Qassem, a representative of Hamas, dismissed Israel’s accusations as baseless.
He stated that they are merely an attempt to rationalize the country’s economic warfare against Gaza and its citizens. In 2022, the US Treasury claimed that donations to the Islamic States were in Bitcoin and converted to cash using platforms like Binance.
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