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Binance Restricts 281 Accounts in Nigeria to Satisfy Money Laundering Requirements

Crypto exchange Binance has restricted the accounts of over 200 Nigerian people in an attempt to ensure user safety and satisfy the needs of the international law enforcement authorities.

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Binance, the popular crypto exchange, has restricted a total of 281 accounts in Nigeria, per a report from Reuters.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, has reportedly addressed these customers, telling them in a letter that this decision has been made to ensure user safety above all else–but also at the request of international law enforcement authorities.

Zhao reportedly said “Currently, we have resolved 79 cases and continue to work through others. All non-law enforcement-related cases will be resolved within two weeks.”

It’s intriguing to note that this news comes at an interesting time. A time when the exchange finds itself in the midst of some rather serious regulatory woes.

A Reuters investigation earlier this month came to a head when it was revealed that Zhao “ignored” warnings regarding the exchange’s quite rather weak KYC or, Know-Your-Customer checks. These are usually meant to be the first line of defense against illicit activity like money laundering.

Back in 2019, former Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer Karen Long sent a message which revealed that Zhao wanted “no kyc.”

Samuel Lim, who acts as the Binance Chief Compliance Officer wrote in a text “Damn why touch fiat if dont wanna be compliant. So ironic LOL. Just say full crypto man. Jizzus.”

The investigation by Reuters also discovered that Binance did not in fact help out German law enforcement with 44 letters that enquired about €2 million (roughly around $2.2 million) worth of transactions that were in fact believed to be either laundered funds, or just plain stolen.

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