Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has alleged that a global drug cartel trafficking in meth and cocaine used the popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance to launder $15 to $40 million in illicit profits.

RJ Sangosti | Getty Images

Forbes, citing a search warrant, reported that the DEA launched an investigation into the cartel’s use of Binance in 2020, eventually leading to the arrest of Mexican citizen Carlos Fong Echavarria, who pleaded guilty to money laundering and drug dealing. Binance reportedly cooperated with the investigation, helping to identify an additional, still unnamed account holder who reportedly purchased nearly $42 million worth of cryptocurrencies through the platform.

Matthew Price, Binance senior director of investigations, told Forbes that the blockchain was key. “This is actually an example of where the transparency of blockchain transactions works against criminal actors,” he said. “The bad guys are leaving a permanent record of what they’re doing.”

Reuters has reported that Binance itself may face a probe from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), but a company spokesperson said questions about any kind of DOJ investigation were “fueled with false insinuations.”

Drug cartels and other criminal organizations have increasingly turned to cryptocurrencies to launder their illicit profits. Cryptocurrencies can ease moving large sums of money across borders and obscure the origin of the funds. However, cash remains the preferred method of payment for most criminals. While using cryptocurrencies in illegal activities is a growing concern, most crypto transactions remain legal and legitimate.

Steve Huff

Source link

You May Also Like

Will the Fed Keep Tightening as Banks Fail?

Quantitative tightening is supposed to be boring. That’s by design. It doesn’t…

The Week in Business: The FTX Founder’s Rapid Fall

What’s Up? (Dec. 11-17) Criminal Charges for Sam Bankman-Fried Sam Bankman-Fried, the…

Xbox Game Pass nabs Grand Theft Auto V (again) for July wave

Missed the GamesBeat Summit excitement? Don’t worry! Tune in now to catch…

How Xi Jinping Plans to Bolster Confidence in China After Covid Missteps

China’s leaders are set to use a gathering of the top legislature…