The well-known Indian crypto exchange WazirX, which Binance acquired in 2019, is under investigation for money laundering
One of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, WazirX (which Binance acquired in 2019) is being investigated by the country’s financial crime agency.
ED has issued Show Cause Notice to WazirX Crypto-currency Exchange for contravention of FEMA, 1999 for transactions involving crypto-currencies worth Rs. 2790.74 Crore.
— ED (@dir_ed) June 11, 2021
Crypto exchange WazirX, which Binance acquired in 2019, is under investigation for money laundering
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) purposefully sent an official announcement to the founder of the popular exchange – Nischal Shetty and the director – Sameer Mhatre. The agency asked the duo to explain suspicious transactions worth nearly $400 million.
As reported by Reuters, India’s anti-financial crime organization, ED, has been in contact with two executives regarding transactions worth 28 billion rupees ($382 million).
The agency accused the exchange operators of failing to collect the necessary documents for know-your-customer (KYC) implementation. Therefore, they are suspected of violating foreign exchange regulations.
WazirX representatives said they have not actually received any official documents:
“WazirX is yet to receive any show-cause notice from the Enforcement Directorate as mentioned in today’s media reports. WazirX is in compliance with all applicable laws. We go beyond our legal obligations by following Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes and have always provided information to law enforcement authorities whenever required. We are able to trace all users on our platform with official identity information. Should we receive a formal communication or notice from the ED, we’ll fully cooperate in the investigation.”
WazirX is yet to receive any show cause notice from the Enforcement Directorate as mentioned in today’s media reports.
WazirX is in compliance with all applicable laws.
— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) June 11, 2021
The world’s second-most populated country has a somewhat controversial history with the cryptocurrency space, starting a few years back when the nation’s central bank banned organizations working with it to operate with any companies even remotely associated with the industry.
Although the Supreme Court of India reversed this directive in 2020, the RBI still regularly issues warnings against BTC and other crypto assets.
However, the latest news coming from the country has been significantly more positive. India is currently considering abandoning its plan to ban cryptocurrencies – the government is considering turning them into an asset class instead.
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