Paris public prosecutors have confirmed that Binance’s French unit is under investigation for what they deem to be “acts of aggravated money laundering”. 

CoinDesk broke the news detailing that the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange broke French regulations in a period before it was registered in May 2022.  

Before registering as an official digital asset service provider in the country, French officials found that Binance took part in “aggravated money laundering by taking part in investment operations, concealment and conversion, the latter being carried out by perpetrators of offences having generated profits”. 

Furthermore, Le Monde reported that Binance’s French unit caught the eye of authorities due to the exchange signalling to investors to reroute to one of its other trading platforms outside of France’s regulatory guidelines. 

This led to a referral to the anti-financial crime unit of France, the SEJF, via a interrogional jurisdiction, detailing that “computer elements collected during the search will now have to be the subject of an in-depth study”. 

A Binance email statement to CoinDesk shortly followed, reaffirming it works closely with law enforcement to abide by all French regulatory frameworks. 

The statement read: “We continue to work closely with regulators and law enforcement agencies on all ongoing compliance requirements to uphold high standards. 

“Binance invests considerable time and resources into cooperating with law enforcement globally. We abide by all laws in France, just as we do in every other market we operate. 

“We will not comment on the specifics of law enforcement or regulatory investigations except to say that information about our users is held securely and only provided to government officials upon receipt of documented appropriate justification.”

This follows what has been a turbulent past couple of weeks for Binance, which has seen the exchange charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as announcing it was taking its operations out of the Netherlands. 

Binance left the Dutch market due to failing to obtain an anti-money laundering licence as it was judged to have not met Dutch guidelines. The crypto exchange also announced its departure from Cyprus, ending its regulatory agreement with the country’s officials.