ED allows crypto exchange WazirX to use frozen bank accounts after raids
Crypto exchange WazirX on Monday said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has allowed it to use its bank accounts after it cooperated with the investigators by providing them all the necessary details, information and documents of the alleged accused companies who used the WazirX platform.
The company said in a statement that due to the active cooperation extended by WazirX and active anti-money laundering (AML) checks that led to the blocking of suspicious accounts, “ED has unfreezed the bank accounts of WazirX”.
“WazirX is now in a position to continue its banking operations as usual,” said the crypto exchange.
Last month, ED sleuths raided WazirX’s parent company Zanmai Lab. It searched the premises and froze its bank assets worth Rs 64.67 crore “for assisting accused instant loan App companies in laundering of fraud money via purchase and transfer of virtual crypto assets”.
The ED has been conducting an investigation of 16 fintech companies and Instant loan apps, some of them happened to use WazirX platform.
The company clarified that it has no association with any of the alleged accused fintech and instant loan app entities which appear to be the subject of ED investigation and “is carrying out the KYC/AML checks despite having no legal obligation to do so”.
“WazirX is like any other intermediary whose platform may have been misused. After an in-depth internal investigation, WazirX noticed that most of the users whose information was sought by ED were already identified as suspicious by WazirX internally and were already blocked in 2020-2021,” said the company.
WazirX is India’s largest crypto exchange and has over 12 million users.
Several crypto exchanges are under the ED radar for their alleged involvement in money laundering of around Rs 10 billion.
Late last month, crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber’s CEO Ashish Singhal said that the company fully cooperated with the ED officials in Bengaluru, after reports surfaced that ED raided its premises over alleged money laundering under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
Singhal said that the company’s engagement with the ED was not related to any money laundering inquiry.
“Enforcement Directorate-Bengaluru has been engaged with us with respect to functioning of our crypto platforms/exchanges. We are fully cooperating with them,” he had said in a tweet thread.
ED recently froze crypto lending platform Vauld’s bank assets worth Rs 370 crore over its “predatory lending practices”.
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