Lithuania Imposes Record Fine on Crypto Company Over Sanctions

(Bloomberg) -- Lithuania fined crypto company Payeer a record €9.3 million ($10.1 million) for sanctions and money laundering violations involving Russian clients. 

Payeer allowed Russian customers “to carry out transactions in Russian rubles by transferring them from European Union-sanctioned Russian banks,” the Financial Crimes Investigation Service said in a statement on Tuesday. Russian individuals and legal entities were “given the opportunity to receive cryptocurrency wallet, account management or storage services,” the service said. 

The Baltic country, a member of the EU and the euro, established itself as a hub for financial technology startups over the past decade. But the authorities are now trying to cut the number of crypto firms through a new licensing plan to prevent digital assets from being abused to launder money or swindle investors. 

Lithuania-registered Payeer was fined €8.24 million for violations of international sanctions and €1.06 million for violations of anti-money laundering laws. 

The fine can be appealed. The company couldn’t be reached for comment. 

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