Binance freezes accounts linked to crypto exchange over money laundering claims
Binance has frozen accounts belonging to another cryptocurrency exchange, Wex, after users claimed the latter was involved in money laundering activities.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao made the announcement on Twitter, stating that they had frozen all accounts belonging to Wex. The decision was made in response to an alert made by Twitter user RedDragon, who warned the public about the suspicious activities happening in the Wex exchange.
the identified accounts are frozen, please report to law enforcement and have a case number. We will work with LE. This is part of centralization we hate too, dealing with other exchange's mess (we don't even know the details). But we will do what we can. https://t.co/tgyYI5ptqx
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 30, 2018
In his tweet, Zhao said Binance had no knowledge of money laundering activities being done by Wex. He noted that they froze the accounts to stop the exchange from further using their platform for money laundering operations, saying that they are willing to cooperate with any law enforcement agency wishing to conduct a criminal investigation against the exchange.
Twitter user RedDragon claimed that Wex was using the Binance platform to move a large amount of the clients missing money to other accounts. Zhao explained that there had been an increase of smaller exchanges using big platforms to move their money. He added it is tiresome to have to sort messes created by other people.
Binance also asked investors with any of the blocked accounts from Wex to report the matter to the police before making any claims on the Binance platform.
Since its inception, Wex appears to have been operating on the wrong side of the law. The Russian-based cryptocurrency exchange, first came to the spotlight last year after its founder, Alexander Vinnik, was arrested for allegedly taking part in a $4 billion fraud. The investigations are still ongoing in the U.S. and Greece. Back then, Wex exchange was under the name BTC-e.
After the re-brand, the exchanges soon began observing suspicious activities including having BTC prices significantly higher than other players in the market. In July 2018, Wex stopped withdrawal services claiming that their system was under scheduled maintenance. Clients have since not been able to withdraw both cryptocurrencies and U.S. dollars, according to reports. Many of its users have gone to social media with claims that the exchange was a scam. They also termed the “maintenance” as an exit strategy organized by the owners.
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