Binance says it has already unblocked 90% of the crypto accounts suspended due to the Bitzalato investigation.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is quietly closing several accounts on the platform in relation to the Bitzlato investigation.
On January 18, a group of Russian-speaking Binance customers complained that their accounts had been blocked and they could not withdraw their funds from the exchange.
Members of the group — which now numbers more than 1,000 — immediately drew parallels to the United States Department of Justice blocking and enforcing action against crypto firm Bitzlato and the US financial crimes enforcement network also listed Binance among the top bitcoins
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Several chat members openly admitted to using BitZlato, including incoming and outgoing transactions in BitZlato and Binance accounts. Some affected users also expressed anger and confusion over the action taken against Bitzlato.
“Although I haven’t been banned anywhere yet, I just lost something on BTC-E, Vex, now Bitzalato, but I consider this ban chaos,” one chat member wrote
“The embargo on Bitzlato is nonsense. They haven’t been proven guilty yet because there are only allegations, so how can this money be dirty?” another user asked.
Sick of crash-proof crypto trading & tired of waiting for bitcoin >>>
A Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the recent suspension is indeed linked to Bitzlato. “Last week, our compliance and investigation team suspended the accounts of some users from several countries, including Eastern Europe and the CIS, in connection with the Bitzlato case,” the representative said
A Binance spokesperson stressed that most of the suspensions are temporary:
“Currently, more than 90% of accounts have been unlocked and users have been informed about it. All funds are secured. Affected users — fewer than 20 — have been provided with relevant law enforcement contact information.”
The crypto exchange also advised users to check out a Binance article on how their Binance account could be blocked and what to do in such a situation.
Related: Binance Swift Banking Partners ready to ban USD transfers under $100K
As previously reported, Bitzlato was a little-known cryptocurrency service that allowed users to trade crypto through exchanges and peer-to-peer services This platform is known to have important operations in Russia, supposedly operating from the Federation Tower skyscraper in Moscow.
According to U.S. government allegations, Bitzlato ran his operations without proper Know Your Customer procedures, which helped him become a “sanctuary” for criminal proceeds and funds intended for use in criminal activities