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Israel seizes almost 190 crypto accounts at Binance, including two linked to ISIS

Counter-terror authorities target Palestinian firms allegedly associated with Hamas group in crackdown on illicit activities

Fri, 05 May 2023, 13:33 pm UTC

Israel's National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) has seized almost 190 crypto accounts at Binance since last year, including two linked to the Islamic State and dozens of others allegedly owned by Palestinian firms associated with the Islamist Hamas group, according to documents released by the counter-terror authorities.

On January 12, Israel's National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF) confiscated two Binance accounts, which it claimed were related to ISIS. The seizure was aimed at "thwarting the activity" of the group and impairing its ability to achieve its objectives, according to the NBCTF.

The NBCTF did not provide any details on the value of the seized crypto, nor did it explain how the accounts were linked to the Islamic State.

Binance, which is the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, did not respond to Reuters' request for comment. Similarly, Israel's defense ministry, which oversees the NBCTF, did not comment on the development.

The Israeli defense minister can order the seizure and confiscation of assets deemed to be related to terrorism under Israeli law.

Regulators around the world have long sought tighter controls on crypto exchanges to prevent illegal activities ranging from money laundering to terrorism financing. The seizures by Israel's NBCTF highlight how governments are targeting crypto firms in their efforts to crack down on illicit activities.

On its website, Binance says it reviews information requests from governments and law enforcement agencies on a case-by-case basis, providing information as legally required. Binance has also said it checks users for connections to terrorism and has "continued to invest tremendous resources to enhance its compliance program," it told US senators in March in response to their requests for information on Binance's regulatory compliance and finances.

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