‘Operating illegally’: India to block Binance, 8 other crypto platforms

New Delhi: India on Thursday slapped show cause notices on nine offshore crypto currency trading platforms including Binance, Kucoin and Huobi and moved to block their web addresses, accusing them of operating illegally in the country.

The notices were issued under money laundering laws by Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU IND), the agency that processes information on dubious financial transactions. These companies, technically called virtual digit asset (VDA) service providers did not comply with the provisions of the anti-money laundering law, the finance ministry said in a late night statement. 

Queries emailed to Binance, Kucoin and Huobi on Thursday seeking comments remained unanswered.

These service providers were brought under the Anti Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) framework under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PML) Act in March 2023, the ministry said.

The notices were issued under a section of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act that authorizes the government to impose a penalty on the entity, its directors or employees or issue a warning or instructions.

India is currently undergoing a peer review of its anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism framework by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a UN body. The review assesses both the technical compliance of its recommendations and the effectiveness of India’s anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing framework.

Director FIU IND has written to secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block the URLs of these entities allegedly operating illegally without complying with the provisions of the PML Act in India, the statement said.

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Crypto platforms are required to be registered with FIU IND as reporting entities and comply with certain obligations as mandated law, the ministry said. Regulations cast reporting, record keeping and other obligations on these service providers under the law, the statement said.

Till date, 31 VDA service providers have registered with FIU IND. However, several offshore entities though catering to a substantial part of Indian users were not getting registered, the statement said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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