Rs 64 Crore bank deposits of crypto exchange WazirX freezed by ED

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) stated that it freezed bank deposits amounting to over Rs 64.67 crore of crypto exchange WazirX. ED conducted raids against a director of Zanmai Lab Pvt. Ltd, who owns WazirX, on a money laundering case. The federal agency also alleged that the director was “non-cooperative”. 

The probe is linked to an ongoing investigation against a number of Chinese loan apps functioning in India. The agency had charged WazirX in 2021 for alleged contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). 

ED asserted in statements that Sameer Mhatre, Director of WazirX possessed complete remote access to WazirX’s database. However, he did not provide any details of the transactions related to the crypto assets, purchased from the proceeds of crime of instant loan app fraud. 

The ED also alleged in their statements that because of the lax KYC norms and loose regulatory control of transactions between WazirX and Binance, non-recording of transactions on block chains to save costs and non-recording of the KYC of the opposite wallets, WazirX could not give any account for the missing crypto assets. 

The ED mentioned that with the help of obscurity and lax AML (anti-money laundering) norms, WazirX actively assisted around 16 accused fintech companies in laundering the proceeds of crime through the crypto route.