Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Bitkub, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and four other criminals for their alleged involvement in money laundering.
Individuals will have to pay a fine of more than $600,000.
Is Bitkub involved in the Wash Trading case?
According to a press release on Tuesday (September 27, 2022), the Thai SEC stated that two people, Mr. Anurak and Mr. Sakon Srakawee, they did washing business on the Bitkub platform.
Wash trading, as far as the crypto industry is concerned, is a practice where a trader buys and sells digital assets to themselves, thereby creating false market activity and also inflating their trading volume.
Meanwhile, the SEC noted that the agency initially decided to apply civil penalties against the three offenders, but Bitkub and the two individuals refused to comply with the penalties and settle the matter. Consequently, the regulator calls for the prosecution of the criminals in a civil court.
The Thai regulator is seeking a ban on Anurak and Sakon from being directors or holding executive positions. Also, criminals should be banned from trading cryptocurrency.
In addition, Bitkub and the individuals in the case were ordered to pay 24,161,292 baht (about $636,000). The fine will be used to reimburse the SEC’s investigative costs.
In a separate announcement, the regulator also took charges of wash trading related to local digital asset exchange Satang Corporation. According to the SEC, two criminals, LLC Fair Expo and Mikalai Zahorski, ran laundry businesses in Satang.
As in the case of the first three, the SEC stated that LLC Expo Fair and Mikalai did not comply with the civil penalties and would be prosecuted in civil court. The two criminals were fined 12 million baht ($317,660).
Thailand maintains strong regulatory control over the crypto industry
The latest development comes shortly after Thailand’s SEC announced a $235,000 fine against Bitkub’s chief technology officer (CTO), who was accused of allegedly being involved in insider trading.
The local regulator recently asked for public comments on its decision to ban local crypto companies from offering lending and equity services as a means of protecting traders. Several cryptocurrency lending companies have filed for bankruptcy in recent times.
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