ED raids crypto exchange WazirX director; freezes bank assets worth ₹64.7 cr

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary on Tuesday said the ED is probing alleged money laundering of ₹2,790 crore through WazirX

The ED reported seizures from Yellow Tune Technologies, allegedly being used by Chinese fintech app firms to launder their India revenues | Representative photo

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday (August 5) searched the premises of one of the directors of cryptocurrency exchange company WazirX and froze bank assets worth more than ₹60 crore.

Also read: Why Centre should not heed RBI’s advice to ban cryptocurrencies

On its official Twitter handle, ED wrote, “ED searches the Director of WazirX Crypto-Currency Exchange & freezes its Bank assets worth Rs 64.67 Crore for assisting accused Instant Loan APP Companies in laundering of fraud money via purchase & transfer of virtual crypto assets.”

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The action by ED comes three days after Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary told Parliament that the agency is investigating two cases related to WazirX for alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).

Chaudhary on Tuesday said the ED is probing alleged money laundering of ₹2,790 crore through WazirX.

Also read: RBI nudges Finance Ministry to enact law banning cryptocurrencies

“In one of the cases, investigation done so far has revealed that one Indian Crypto-exchange platform, Wazirx, operated by Zanmai Labs Private Limited in India was using the walled infrastructure of Cayman Island based exchange BINANCE. Further it has been found that all crypto transactions between these 2 exchanges were not even being recorded on the blockchains and were thus cloaked in mystery,” he said.

Last year, the ED issued a show cause notice to WazirX for undertaking transactions worth over ₹2,790 crore in alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

WazirX, registered under the company named Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd, was incorporated in December, 2017 as a domestic cryptocurrency star-tup and its directors Nischal Shetty and Hanuman Mhatre, along with the company, have been named in the notice issued by the central probe agency after completion of the investigation.

(With inputs from agencies)

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