Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has fined Binance 8 million liras (approximately €660,000). This is because the Turkish version of the popular crypto exchange failed the audit of the financial watchdog for overseeing anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.
Violated AML law
MASAK is the financial watchdog in Turkey. According to them, Binance in Turkey has been found guilty of violating laws to prevent money laundering obtained through criminal means. According to local news media Anadolu Agency, MASAK has conducted an audit of Law No. 5549 to Prevent Money Laundering Proceeds of Crime, also known as the AML Act.
This same AML law requires all companies to identify and verify the customers’ personal identification information on the platform. This includes a number of details such as first name & last name, date of birth, TC identification number (Turkey equivalent of a social security number) and type and number of identity documents. The law also requires companies to notify the government of any suspicious activity within ten (10) business days.
Maximum penalty imposed
When this law is broken, the regulators take tough action. The Turkish watchdog has therefore imposed the maximum possible administrative fine on Binance. This amounts to 8 million Turkish lira (about €660,000). This sentence also coincides with the day when President Erdoğan announced the completion of a crypto bill that will soon be presented to parliament for approval.
Binance has become the first crypto company to be fined by the Turkish government. MASAK also works closely with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global regulator against money laundering and terrorist financing. Lutfi Elvan, the former Minister of Finance and Costs, reports the following:
“The FATF has asked about measures against crypto trading platforms. In line with this request, MASAK has also agreed to report transactions exceeding 10,000 Lira within 10 days.”
As a result, more and more legal measures are being taken against cryptocurrencies and crypto-related companies in Turkey. It is not yet known exactly what the next step will be.