A crypto payment service provider has been fined a record $10 million in Lithuania

A Crypto Payment Service Provider Has Been Fined A Record $10 Million In Lithuania


Lithuania's Financial Crimes Investigation Service (FNTT) fined a crypto payment company EUR 9.29 million (approximately $10 million) in 2018. The government agency said the payer violated anti-money laundering rules by allowing customers to transfer to sanctioned banks.

According to the announcement, the fine is the largest ever imposed on a virtual property service provider in the country.

Payer is a crypto exchange and e-commerce payment service. According to the website, it allows users to exchange between the Euro, United States Dollar and Russian Ruble, as well as between various cryptocurrencies. It also allows withdrawals via debit cards, and provides an API for merchants to accept payments for goods and services as cryptocurrency.

Paid website. Source: Payer

FNTT's announcement, according to Google Translate, says the agency began investigating the payer in 2023. It confirmed that the company was originally registered and licensed in neighboring Estonia, but that license was revoked on January 17. Headquarters registered in Lithuania.

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The agency said the payer was unable to adequately identify its customers. In addition, it allows transfers to be made in Russian rubles and through authorized Russian banks. He explained.

“The company has authorized ‘Payeer.com', owned by its customers, to carry out transactions in Russian rubles, with EU-approved Russian banks and transfers.

FNTT said these transactions had been taking place for “more than 1.5 years”. During this period, Payer “confirmed that it had at least 213 thousand customers, and the company's revenue was more than 164 million euros”.

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The agency said it tried to contact the payer and convince it to stop allowing the blocked transactions, but it “did not cooperate or provide an explanation.”

The punishment has two parts. The first is a fine of 8.23 ​​million euros ($8.91 million) for “violations of international sanctions” and the second is a fine of 1.06 million euros ($1.15 million) and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (PPTFP)).

FNTT said the payer has the right to appeal the decision. Cointelegraph contacted Fain for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Over the past year, governments have been cracking down on crypto exchanges that allegedly do not comply with anti-money laundering regulations. In November, Binance filed a $4.3 billion lawsuit with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) after the exchange failed to properly identify customers and allowed certain unauthorized transactions to occur. In March, the DOJ also sued KuCoin for failing to prevent money laundering at the exchange. In this case, KuCoin responded that it “strictly adheres to compliance requirements.”

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