Indian authorities freeze $8.1M in WazirX funds as part of AML investigation

India’s Directorate of Enforcement, or ED, has announced it froze roughly $8.1 million in funds and conducted a search connected to cryptocurrency exchange WazirX as part of an investigation into instant personal loan fraud. In a Friday announcement, the Directorate of Enforcement alleged WazirX facilitated transactions by unnamed fintech firms “to purchase crypto assets and then launder them abroad” as part of a scheme involving Chinese-backed companies circumventing India’s licensing regulations. In its investigation, the ED said it ordered WazirX bank accounts containing 646.7 million Indian rupees — roughly $8.1…

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Arthur Hayes to serve 2-year probation owning up to BitMEX’s AML mishap

Bringing closure to the long-awaited judgment related to the money laundering activities over the BitMEX crypto exchange, one of the four federal district courthouses in New York reportedly sentenced two-year probation and six months of home detention to founder and ex-CEO Arthur Hayes. Arthur Hayes, along with the other BitMEX co-founders — Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed — and the company’s first non-employee Gregory Dwyer, pleaded guilty to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations on Feb 24, admitting to “willfully failing to establish, implement and maintain an Anti-Money Laundering (AML)…

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European watchdog lists crypto next to lawyers, accountants as an AML threat

Europe’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)  watchdog, MONEYVAL, has listed monitoring the crypto sector along with “gatekeeper” professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, as priorities in European nations’ push to combat money laundering. In a media release based on the findings of its annual report, MONEYVAL called upon European jurisdictions to assess compliance with international standards and implement stricter regulatory policies to combat money laundering facilitated by crypto assets. Elżbieta Frankow-Jaśkiewicz, chief of MONEVYAL, cited the Pandora Papers as an example of how professionals serving as…

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OCC issues order against Anchorage Digital over AML compliance

The United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, has said it intends to pursue cease and desist proceedings against cryptocurrency custody bank Anchorage Digital for violating certain anti-money laundering requirements. In a Thursday announcement, the OCC said it issued a consent order against Anchorage Digital based on its “failure to adopt and implement a compliance program” in accordance with required Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA, and AML standards. The government bureau said such actions placed Anchorage Digital in violation of its operating agreement with the OCC,…

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How Europe’s new AML regulation will affect crypto

According to recent media reports, six European countries, led by Germany, are working on launching an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) body that will include the cryptocurrency market in its purview. Details remain scarce, but it is known that the initiative involves Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The group is working on “the remit and design” of a new international AML watchdog force that will have a particular emphasis on crypto, and the European Commission — the key executive institution of the European Union — will be the primary…

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EU members reportedly plan for AML watchdog to oversee crypto firms by 2024

The European Commission, in coordination with other authorities, reportedly plans to have its financial watchdog group potentially oversee illicit transactions at crypto firms. According to a Tuesday Bloomberg report, a group of European Union member nations led by Germany and including The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Italy and Luxembourg plan to include crypto firms under the purview of the Anti-Money Laundering-focused group — purportedly the European Commission’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority, which was first proposed in July 2021. The group will reportedly begin operating in 2024 and be “fully functional” by 2026.…

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Estonia’s new AML laws set to clamp down on crypto industry

Beginning in February, Estonia is set to introduce sweeping changes to its definition of Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, to include several cryptocurrency-related services — a move that could impact Bitcoin (BTC) ownership in the country — according to European compliance specialist Sumsub. On Sept. 21, the Estonian Ministry of Finance published a draft bill to update the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (the AML Act) as part of the government’s effort to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. As Sumsub reported, the legislation is now in…

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Former US Treasury official joins Binance to lead AML efforts

Former United States Treasury Criminal Investigator Greg Monahan joined major cryptocurrency exchange Binance to oversee the company’s international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts, the exchange announced on Aug. 18. Before replacing Karen Leong as the global money laundering reporting officer at Binance, Monahan worked for the U.S. Treasury for almost 20 years as a member of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit. He was mainly responsible for tax, money laundering and other related financial crime investigations. He also held a brief position at Deloitte as a senior manager, according to…

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AML compliance mandatory for foreign crypto exchanges, says Korean regulator

Eun Sung-soo, chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), has said that foreign crypto exchanges that deal in the Korean won must comply with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering standards. According to The Korea Herald on Tuesday, Eun made these comments while fielding questions from lawmakers about the FSC’s plans to regulate crypto exchange giant Binance. Eun reiterated the need for overseas exchanges that offer won-denominated crypto trading pairs to comply with the same Anti-Money Laundering standards as platforms based in the country. As part of this compliance, these foreign exchanges…

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