ED raids crypto exchange WazirX, bank deposits worth Rs 64 cr frozen

ED raids crypto exchange WazirX, bank deposits worth Rs 64 cr frozen

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5

The ED today said it had frozen bank deposits worth Rs 64.67 crore of one of the directors of Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd, a firm that owns popular crypto-currency exchange WazirX, following searches conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

In a statement, the ED claimed that because of the non-cooperative approach of the WazirX director, Sameer Mhatre, the search operation was conducted on August 3 and it was found that Mhatre had “complete remote access” to the WazirX database.

“The lax KYC norms, loose regulatory control of transactions between WazirX & Binance, non-recording of transactions on blockchains to save costs and non-recording of the KYC of the opposite wallets has ensured that WazirX is not able to give any account for the missing crypto assets,” the ED said.

The agency said the firm “made no efforts” to trace the crypto assets. “By encouraging obscurity and having lax AML norms, it has actively assisted around 16 accused fintech companies in laundering the proceeds of crime using the crypto route. Thus, equivalent movable assets to the extent of Rs 64.67 crore lying with WazirX were frozen,” the ED said.

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