According to Forbes, citing a search warrant received, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, held between $15 million and $40 million, which is owned by a global drug cartel, writes Business Insider.
A criminal organization has used Binance to transfer millions of dollars in illegal proceeds, according to an ongoing US drug enforcement investigation.
Crypto exchange Binance, which announced plans to buy a minority stake in Forbes, is helping US investigators to catch suspects. The investigation began in 2020 when whistleblowers from another cryptocurrency trading platform, the DEA, discovered a user offering cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat currency. A criminal named Carlos Fong Echavarria, who later pleaded guilty to charges including money laundering and drug trafficking, was traced to his blockchain transactions totaling $4.7 million. By following his online activity, investigators were able to identify an additional account. receiving funds from Echavarria. The owner of this account, who has not yet been formally charged, allegedly bought almost $42 million worth of cryptocurrencies, of which at least $16 million was obtained through the sale of drugs.
According to the senior investigator, “This is an example of how the transparency of blockchain transactions works against criminals who leave traces behind them.”
However, Binance itself has faced an investigation by the US Department of Justice as even the exchange’s former CFO did not have full access to its accounts during his nearly 3 years in office.