13 September 2022
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unfrozen the bank accounts of cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx, the company said. The accounts were frozen as part of the federal agency’s investigation into 16 fintech companies and instant loan apps.
Indian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx said Monday that the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the law enforcement and economic intelligence agency of the government of India, has unfrozen its bank accounts.
The company explained that the ED has been investigating 16 fintech companies and instant loan apps. While emphasizing that Wazirx has “no association with any of the alleged accused fintech and instant loan app entities which appear to be the subject of ED investigation,” the crypto exchange acknowledged that some of these companies “have happened to use the Wazirx platform.”
The Indian crypto exchange stressed that it “has been cooperating with the investigators by providing them with all the necessary details, information, and documents of the alleged accused companies” that used its platform.
“Due to the active cooperation extended by Wazirx and active anti-money laundering (AML) checks that led to the blocking of suspicious accounts, ED has unfrozen the bank accounts of Wazirx,” the crypto exchange detailed, elaborating:
Wazirx is now in a position to continue its banking operations as usual.
The ED announced that it had frozen the bank assets of Wazirx in early August. The agency explained that the action was part of its money laundering investigation into non-bank financial companies (NBFC) and their fintech partners for “predatory lending practices” in violation of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.
Wazirx further clarified Monday that an in-depth internal investigation has revealed:
Most of the users whose information was sought by ED were already identified as suspicious by Wazirx internally and were blocked in 2020-2021.
Following Wazirx, the ED froze crypto and bank assets worth $46 million of Vauld, a crypto platform backed by Peter Thiel. In August, the agency searched crypto exchange Coinswitch Kuber. However, the CEO of the exchange said that it was not related to money laundering investigations.
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