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ED Removes Freeze on WazirX’ Bank Accounts Following Possible Money-Laundering Links

India-based crypto trading platform WazirX has stated that the country’s financial crime watchdog — the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), has unfrozen its bank accounts allowing the company to continue banking operations. Back in August, they conducted searches on one of the directors of Zanmai Labs, which operates WazirX in India and issued a freezing order to freeze their bank balances to the tune of Rs. 64.67 crores. This was in relation to ED’s investigation of 16 fintech companies and Instant loan apps.

The crypto exchange announced in a tweet, “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.”

The exchange clarified in a blog post stating, “The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been conducting investigations of 16 fintech companies and Instant loan apps. Some of them have happened to use the WazirX platform. WazirX has been cooperating with the investigators by providing them with all the details, information, and documents of the alleged accused companies using the WazirX platform.”

“The company further 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.”

News of the ED investigation led to Binance virtually disowning WazirX. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that the transaction to complete the acquisition was never completed. “On 21st November 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX – this transaction was never completed,” clarified Zhao. “Binance has never – at any point – owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX.”

Nischal Shetty, the co-founder of WazirX, rebutted Zhao’s tweeting “WazirX was acquired by Binance. Zanmai Labs is an Indian entity owned by me & my co-founders. Zanmai Labs has a license from Binance to operate INR-Crypto pairs in WazirX. Binance operates crypto to crypto pairs, processes crypto withdrawal.”

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