U.S DEA Seized $2.2 Million From Six Binance Accounts Last Year

  • The funds were associated with narcotics sales and drug traffickers from Mexico.
  • A U.S. district court recently granted a civil forfeiture request for the seized funds.

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized cryptocurrencies worth millions from multiple Binance accounts last year. The funds were associated with narcotics sales and drug trafficking from outfits based in Mexico.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan, the seizure was made on May 19, 2022, pursuant to a seizure warrant authorized by the said court. Details of the seized crypto assets were laid out in the complaint for forfeiture filed by U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

The DEA seized more than 66 BTC, 9.1 ETH, and over 300,000 USDT from six Binance accounts. The conversion rate from May last year valued the seized crypto assets at over $2.2 million. The request for forfeiture of the seized funds was recently granted by the magistrate judge of the Michigan district court.

The court filing further revealed that Binance was used by drug traffickers to convert U.S. currency obtained from drug trafficking sales to Bitcoins, USDT, or other crypto assets, and launder the same to Money Laundering Organizations (MLOs) based in Mexico. The Binance accounts were used to facilitate unlicensed money-transmitting conspiracy and money laundering.

U.S. Attorney Ison stated in his complaint that the transmission of the proceeds of international drug trafficking began as early as 2018. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao quoted a recent report on the matter which claimed that “A source that works with law enforcement on these matters said that the relationship between Binance and the DEA is “pretty tight.”

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