The federal Enforcement Directorate (ED), India’s body for combating financial crime, unfroze WazirX crypto exchange‘s bank accounts after more than a month, according to a report released early on Monday by the Binance-affiliated exchange.
According to an official blog post, the firm stated that the agency started looking into the firm last year for allegedly violating foreign currency laws and frozen its assets worth $8.16 million, or 646.70 million rupees.
ED unfreezes WazirX’s bank accounts
The exchange clarified that 16 FinTech businesses and instant loan applications are the subjects of investigations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
WazirX asserts it has been working with the investiators and has given them all the relevant facts, data, and documents pertaining to the alleged accused companies that allegedly exploited the platform. They claim that the exchange is now ready to resume regular financial activities.
“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 blocked in 2020-2021,” the company said.
The company continued to claim that it is doing the KYC/AML checks despite being under no legal requirement to do so and that it is not affiliated with any of the suspected accused FinTech and Instant Loan App firms that appear to be the focus of the ED inquiry.
Update on ED investigation:
The ED has unfrozen the bank accounts of WazirX. In cooperation with investigators, WazirX provided all necessary details & documents of the alleged accused companies that used the WazirX platform.
More on this 👇https://t.co/DU36aT2oJA
— WazirX: India Ka Bitcoin Exchange (@WazirXIndia) September 12, 2022
Notably, Sameer Mhatre, one of WazirX’s directors, had bank accounts worth Rs 64.67 crore blocked by the ED in August. The exchange was under investigation for allegedly using cryptocurrency assets to launder money.
Does Binance own WazirX?
Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange, claimed Binance did not own the Indian cryptocurrency exchange a few hours after the ED froze its accounts last month. He stated the agreement was supposed to close in 2019, but it never did. The same sparked a Twitter argument between Zhao, an executive at Binance, and Nischal Shetty, a co-founder of WazirX
CZ said that as recently as February of this year, they requested the handover of the WazirX system source code, deployment, and operations.
“This was refused by WazirX. Binance does NOT have control over its system,” CZ claimed in a Tweet. “WazirX has been uncooperative with us and looks uncooperative with ED as well.”
The co-founder of WazirX, Nischal Shetty, reaffirmed that Binance had purchased WazirX.