Reuters, November 27 – Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder stated on Sunday that the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX is still the focus of “an active and ongoing investigation” by Bahamian authorities. Pinder also commended the Bahamas’ regulatory framework and the speed with which it handled the situation.
The headquarters of FTX, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, are located in the Bahamas. Authorities in the Bahamas and the United States are looking into the company, whose lack of liquidity caused it to file for bankruptcy on November 11. According to the Royal Bahamas Police, authorities in the Bahamas were looking into whether any “criminal misbehaviour happened,” as of mid-November.
As stated in the prepared remarks for the address, Pinder stated on Sunday that “we are in the early phases of an active and ongoing investigation.” It’s an extremely difficult investigation. He said that both civil and criminal officials were involved.
The Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Crimes Unit of the police, and the Bahamas Securities Commission, according to Pinder, would “continue to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding FTX’s insolvency issue, and any potential violations of Bahamian law.”
The Securities Commission in the Bahamas, according to Pinder, moved swiftly “because of the strength of the legislative framework,” defending the regulatory system in the process.
The day before the U.S. bankruptcy case commenced, Bahamas securities regulators cancelled FTX Digital’s licence and started the involuntary liquidation process.
“Any attempt to place the totality of this catastrophe at the feet of the Bahamas, since FTX is located here, would be a terrible oversimplification of reality,” said Pinder, who also noted that the Bahamas Securities Commission had responded with “amazing” speed.
Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, created FTX in 2019 and amassed a net worth of $26.5 billion, according to a Forbes estimate from one year prior. The day before FTX filed for bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried announced his resignation as the company’s CEO.
According to Reuters, which cited two persons with knowledge of the situation, Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion of FTX customer funds to his personal trading company, Alameda Research, which led to the liquidity crisis.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of senior securities fraud prosecutor Damian Williams, started looking into FTX’s handling of customer assets in the middle of November. Inquiries have also been launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Following a spate of collapses that also claimed the lives of other significant firms like Voyager Digital and Celsius Network, including FTX, some international investors began to doubt the future of the cryptocurrency industry.