Binance has revealed that it had assisted US authorities in seizing more than $4.4 million linked to North Korean criminal groups. Through its recent tweet, Binance mentioned that its investigation teams worked with law enforcement agencies in the US to disrupt illicit revenue generation activities of approximately four, now-sanctioned, entities within North Korea. It was highlighted that the exchange actively acted against all possible accounts connected to such individuals a little over a year ago, and all the necessary actions were taken in compliance with lawfully served warrants and collaborating with law enforcement agencies.
We are proud to have assisted US law enforcement in seizing $4.4M and freezing accounts linked to North Korean organized crime.
Kudos to our law enforcement partners and the Binance Investigations team for their unwavering commitment to combating crime worldwide.
— Binance (@binance) May 24, 2023
Similarly, Binance was questioned whether or not it had additional collaboration efforts planned for the near future to which the exchange replied that it continuously keeps an eye out on potential bad actors. As per the recent statement from the OFAC, it became understood that four entities and one individual were sanctioned as they had engaged in malpractices to support the DPRK government. The four entities include the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company, Pyongyang University of Automation, the 110th Research Centre, and the Technical Reconnaissance Bureau.
It is currently believed that Chinyong hosts a workforce of thousands of skilled IT workers that are responsible for generating revenue that contributes to North Korea’s unethical acts, and ballistic missile programs. These workers resort to the use of either fake or stolen identities to apply for IT-related work overseas, which includes tech and crypto-related jobs. The stolen amount is then laundered back to the DPRK via crypto exchanges.
Binance Continues to Stay In the Good Books
An individual sanctioned by the OFAC is believed to be involved in the payments of salaries to Chinyong’s overseas workers and receiving almost $2 million in crypto for selling IT equipment to North Korean-linked teams in China and Russia. According to the Treasury Department, the Reconnaissance Bureau is responsible for leading North Korea’s development of offensive cyber tactics.
At the same time, it is also believed that it also operates a number of departments, out of which most are affiliated with the Lazarus Group. The Lazarus group is deemed responsible for raiding a number of crypto and blockchain projects over the course of time.
It is believed that the group was behind the Ronin Bridge attack in March 2022. Moreover, Zhao revealed that Binance recovered a sum of approximately $5.8 million by the end of April as soon as it spotted a chunk of the ill-gotten gains moving across the exchange. All of these pro-law enforcement strategies from Binance will help the exchange in maintaining a healthy relationship with regulatory authorities.