HomeCURRENT AFFAIRSBUSINESSAfter ED probe, Binance claims it never owned WazirX

After ED probe, Binance claims it never owned WazirX

The problems of WazirX, a unit of the world’s largest digital currency exchange Binance, have increased. In fact, the Enforcement Directorate, the central agency that takes strict action against financial crimes, said on Friday that it has frozen bank deposits of Rs 64.67 crore in connection with the investigation of money laundering case against WazirX.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of US-based crypto exchange Binance, said on August 5 that the company does not own Indian crypto exchange WazirX, a deal that was understood to be completed back in 2019.

Zhao tweeted, “Binance does not own any equity in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX and established by the original founders.”

“Binance only provides wallet services for WazirX as a tech solution. There is also integration using off-chain tx, to save on network fees. WazirX is responsible for all other aspects of the WazirX exchange, including user sign-up, KYC, trading, and initiating withdrawals,” he tweeted.

The ED said that it has conducted raids in Hyderabad on August 3 against Janmai Lab Pvt Ltd, the owner of WazirX.

The agency’s investigation against the crypto exchange is related to the ongoing investigation against several Chinese lending apps (mobile applications) running in India. The ED had last year accused WazirX of violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

“WazirX Director Samir Mhatre had full access to WazirX’s database even when he was remote,” the agency said.

Despite this, he is not giving details of transactions related to crypto assets. These assets have been purchased from the proceeds of crime committed through an app that provides instant loans.

The ED said that movable assets of Rs 64.67 crore of WazirX have been frozen under the Money Laundering Act.

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