GFATF LLL Israel seized crypto accounts linked to ISIS and Hamas

Israel Seizes Nearly 200 ISIS and Hamas-Linked Binance Accounts

Since December 2021, Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing has seized almost 200 accounts linked to Hamas or the Islamic State (ISIS) running on the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, a new report from Reuters shows.

A total of 189 Binance accounts were seized or frozen, with the majority linked to three currency exchange firms based in Gaza: Al Mutahadun for Exchange, Dubai Company for Exchange, and Al Wefaq Co. for Exchange.

All three firms have been categorized as “terrorist organizations” by Israel. Any link to terrorism provides the government with legal cover for the confiscation or seizures of digital assets.

However, at least one of the listed companies disputes its designation as a terrorist organization, a significant classification that allows Tel Aviv to summarily grab or freeze its assets. “We are a money exchange company,” an unnamed person with intimate knowledge of Al Mutahadun told Reuters. The company was declared a terrorist organization in spring 2021.

Hamas, which currently governs Gaza and has been labeled a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, claims it does not have any ties to the three companies named in the report. Spokesperson Hazem Qassem told Reuters that Israel’s statements were deliberately false to “justify its economic war against Gaza and its people.”

Last week, a faction of Hamas said it was rejecting Bitcoin donations after years of aggressive crypto fundraising. “This comes out of concern about the safety of donors and to spare them any harm,” Hamas said.

In April, Israel seized nearly $140,000 worth of crypto from more than 80 Binance accounts linked to the three money exchange companies.

On January 12, an Israeli document showed the seizure of an undisclosed amount of crypto from a 28-year old Palestinian named Osama Abuobayda.

Binance said the company works “closely with international counter-terrorism authorities” when notified about crimes. It said it helped law enforcement agencies globally seize or freeze more than $1 billion this year. The company also pointed out that “bad actors don’t register accounts under the names of their criminal enterprises.”

The world’s largest crypto exchange also said that nefarious actors would face grave challenges using blockchain and crypto: “The immutable, public nature of the blockchain makes crypto a poor choice for money laundering because it allows law enforcement to uncover and trace money laundering far more easily than cash transactions. You simply cannot move large sums of money into crypto without people noticing.”

Source: thestreet