On Friday, Thailand’s financial regulator filed charges against Binance, a crypto exchange platform for running a digital asset business “in the category of a digital asset exchange” without a license, according to Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission. Only licensed organizations are allowed to provide services linked to digital asset trading in Thailand, according to the SEC.
“It was found that Binance has provided platform services for trading or exchanging digital assets via its website…” the SEC said on Friday.
“The aforementioned activities of Binance is liable to operating digital asset business in the category of digital asset exchange without licence.”
The Commission had written to Binance in April, warning it about its operations, but had gotten no answer, prompting it to file criminal charges with Thai authorities, it added. A Binance spokesman declined to comment on the Thai complaint but said the company works together with regulators and takes its compliance commitments seriously.
It is one of the world’s largest exchanges, which was forbidden from conducting regulated activities in the country by Britain’s financial regulator last week. Last week, Japan’s authority said Binance was operating illegally in the country, while Germany’s government warned in April that it risked being penalized for offering tokens tied to equities. according to reports, Binance was being investigated by the US government in May.
According to the Commission, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are both involved. The SEC’s complaint in Thailand represents the start of a criminal inquiry, with a police probe possibly resulting in a recommendation to a general lawyer with prosecutorial jurisdiction.
It said that the offense involves a sentence of two to five years in prison, a fine of 4,63,914.18-11,59,785.44 inr (200,000-500,000 baht), and a daily fee of up to 23,195.71 inr (10,000 baht) for each day the violation persists. According to data, trading volumes at the exchange in June totaled $662 billion, up tenfold from July 2020.