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Thai regulators file criminal complaint against Binance

By Aaron Woolner


Updated

Thai police

Thai authorities have extended their cryptocurrency clampdown and piled more pressure on Binance, by filing a criminal complaint against the digital asset exchange platform in Bangkok.

On Friday (2 July), Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had filed a complaint with the Economic Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police against Binance for conducting business in the kingdom without a licence. 

The move comes less than a week after the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Japan’s Financial Services Authority issued statements that Binance was operating in their respective countries without a licence. 

Tax evasion 

In May, Bloomberg reported that Binance was being investigated by US authorities, over tax evasion and money laundering issues.

The Thai SEC said that Binance had “solicited” local investors to use its services, using its website and the Facebook Page: Binance Thai Community. On 5 April 2021, the SEC issued a warning letter telling Binance that it was operating without licence. 

According to the regulator, Binance failed to reply and as a result the SEC is pursuing criminal charges that carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of THB500,000 ($15,500), as well as a daily THB10,000 fine. 

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Legal penalties

The securities regulator emphasised in its statement that all digital asset exchanges operating in the southeast Asian country needed to comply with Thailand’s Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses.

“Only providers who have obtained relevant licenses under the law are allowed to provide services related to digital asset trading, exchange, depository, transfer, withdrawal or any transactions related to digital assets. Violators may be liable to penalties under the law,” the SEC statement said. 

It is the second time in less than a month that the Thai SEC has looked to assert its control over the domestic digital assets market. On 12 June it issued a ban on meme coins, NFTs, fan tokens and exchange tokens

A Binance official declined to respond to a request to comment from Reuters on the Thai complaint.

Trade Bitcoin / Baht – BTC/THB CFD

 

Read more: UK regulator bars crypto platform Binance Markets

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