The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said Friday that it has frozen bank deposits of Rs. 64.67 crore as part of a money laundering investigation against crypto currency exchange WazirX.
The federal agency said it raided a director of Zanmai Lab Private Limited, which owns WazirX, in Hyderabad on Aug. 3, alleging he was “uncooperative”.
The agency’s investigation against the crypto exchange is linked to the ongoing investigation into a number of Chinese loan apps (mobile applications) operating in India.
The agency had sued WazirX last year for allegedly violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
“It has been established that Sameer Mhatre, director of WazirX, has full remote access to WazirX’s database, but despite not providing the details of the transactions related to the crypto assets purchased from the crime proceeds of app- instant loan fraud.” “The lax KYC standards, loose regulatory control of transactions between WazirX and Binance, non-registration of transactions on blockchains to save costs and non-registration of the KYC of the opposing wallets have prevented WazirX from giving an account for the missing crypto assets,” the ED claimed in a statement.
It said the company has made no effort to trace these crypto assets. “By encouraging ambiguity and adopting lax AML (anti-money laundering) standards, it has actively helped about 16 accused fintech companies to launder the proceeds of crime using the crypto route,” it said. .
Therefore, the ED said, equivalent movable property in the amount of Rs. 64.67 crore deposited with WazirX were frozen under the Money Laundering Prevention Act (PMLA).