India’s government agency unfroze bank accounts belonging to the Binance-linked crypto exchange WazirX. The move came more than a month after roughly $8.16 million of WazirX’s funds were frozen for a suspected breach of foreign exchange regulations and an alleged fraud involving Chineese instant loan apps.
ED Releases Wazirx’s Bank Account After Successful Cooperation
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED), India’s government agency fighting against economic crime in the country, reportedly unfroze bank funds associated with WazirX, the controversial crypto exchange said in a statement. The decision allows the company to proceed with its work in a normal manner, WazirX added.
“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.”
– WazirX wrote in a blog post.
As a result of the investigation, the ED raided properties associated with WazirX director Sameer Mhatre, accusing him of aiding around 16 fintech firms in money laundering activities using crypto. Following the probe, the law enforcement agency froze 646.70 million rupees ($8.16 million) worth of WazirX’s funds, due to a suspected fraud on instant loan apps.
The agency now restarted WazirX’s business bank account after the company said it has been “cooperating with the investigators by providing them with all the necessary details, information, and documents of the alleged accused companies who used the WazirX platform.”
Why did ED Freeze WazirX’s Funds in the First Place?
WazirX has been investigated by the ED since last year due to suspected violations of foreign exchange laws. Furthermore, the Indian authorities opened a probe into several exchanges including WazirX that were allegedly used to cash out from China-based instant loan apps.
WazirX was initially considered a Binance-owned crypto exchange but Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was quick to deny these rumors, saying the transaction to acquire WazirX was never completed. Zhao said Binance “does not own any equity in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX.”
Binance also halted off-chain transactions with WazirX, shortly after Indian regulators opened an investigation into the embattled crypto exchange. Binance added it will assist Indian regulators in their investigation of WazirX and collaborate with lawmakers to “establish a global regulatory framework for the industry.”
A few weeks ago, WazirX co-founder Nischal Shetty was reportedly holding talks to raise the first funding round for a new blockchain startup. The fundraising round could value Shetty’s new startup at about $200 million, the reports said.
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
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