The Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has fined Binance Turkey 8 million lira (nearly $750,000) after the crypto exchange failed the financial watchdog’s audit for monitoring Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance.
The Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), which serves as Turkey’s financial intelligence unit under the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, found crypto exchange Binance’s Turkey operations guilty of violating laws that intend to prevent the laundering of money acquired through criminal means. According to local news media Anadolu Agency, MASAK carried out an audit of Law No. 5549 on the Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime, also known as the AML Law.
The AML Law in Turkey requires companies to identify and verify the personal identification information of the customers on the platform, which includes details such as surname, date of birth, T.C. identification number (Turkey equivalent of a social security number) and type and number of identity documents. The law also requires businesses to notify the government about suspicious activities within a 10-day period.
As Cointelegraph Turkey reported, the watchdog imposed the maximum possible administrative fine of 8 million Turkish lira for the alleged violation. Additionally, this timeline also coincides with the day President Erdoğan announced the completion of a crypto law draft that will soon be handed over to the Parliament for approval.
With this, Binance also becomes the first crypto business to get fined by the Turkish government. Moreover, MASAK is working closely with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global regulator of money laundering and terrorist financing, according to former Treasury and Cost Minister Lutfi Elvan:
“FATF has asked for measures to be taken against crypto trading platforms.”
In line with this request, MASAK has also agreed to report transactions that exceed the value of 10 thousand lira within 10 days.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed the completion of a crypto law that will soon be handed over to the Parliament for mainstream implementation.
As Cointelegraph reported, the crypto law envisions a new economic model that can bolster Turkey’s effort to bring back the depreciating value of lira. Erdoğan also said that the recent inflation on Turkish lira is not related to mathematics but a matter of process — implying a possibility and potential of the lira’s value growth:
“With this understanding, we intend to channel it to a dry spot. But the exchange rate will find its own price on the market.”