Thai SEC files criminal complaint against Binance over unregistered operations

Quick Take

  • Thailand’s financial regulator has filed a criminal complaint against Binance over unregistered operations.
  • The action seems one of the most significant ones against Binance as this is not just a warning but a criminal complaint.

Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Friday that it has filed a criminal complaint against Binance over unregistered operations.

The SEC said Binance has operated a cryptocurrency exchange business in Thailand via its website without a license. Binance has also solicited the Thailand public to use its services via either its website or the Facebook page "Binance Thai Community," and thus is liable to criminal sanctions, according to the SEC.

The regulator said it sent Binance a warning letter on April 5 requiring the exchange to submit a written response, but it failed to reply within a specified time.

The SEC's announcement comes at a time when Binance and its affiliates are under scrutiny or have received warnings from global regulators, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, the Cayman Islands, and Singapore. But Thailand's action appears to be one of the most significant actions to date against Binance since it is not just a warning but a criminal complaint directed at the exchange.

Thailand's SEC has filed a criminal complaint against Binance with the Economic Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police, it said. This means an investigation has begun, which may lead the official leading it to recommend the case to the public attorney who is able to prosecute such matters.

According to the SEC, Binance has violated Thailand's crypto laws defined under the Digital Asset Businesses Emergency Decree. Thus, the exchange operator could face sanctions such as imprisonment for a term of two to five years and a fine of 200,000 to 500,000 baht (around $6,000 to $15,500), and a further daily penalty not exceeding 10,000 baht ($310) for every day during which the contravention continues.

A spokesperson for Binance said, "As you can understand, we do not comment, as a matter of policy, on specific matters related to any regulators. What we can say is that we take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space. We will certainly let you know if and when we have other updates."

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