India’s ED agency freezes Bitcoin in Binance amid an ongoing investigation into crypto exchange WazirX

India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) informed on Wednesday that it has frozen 77.62710139 bitcoins under the government’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED is the Indian government’s law enforcement & economic intelligence agency.

india-ed-bitcoin-freeze-binance

The freeze is part of the ED’s investigation into a mobile gaming application dubbed E-nuggets. As per the announcement, the cryptocurrency was moved from Wazirx, a popular Indian exchange, to Binance. The ED also notified in a tweeted summary of its action.

The law enforcement also adds that after collecting seizable portion of money from the public, all of a sudden withdrawal from the said app was halted on one pretext or the other. Subsequently, all data including profile information was dabbed off from the said app servers.

The ED clarified that its investigations have indicated that the accused transferred part of the illegally acquired funds overseas through the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx.

The accused allegedly extended a dummy account in the name of “Sima Naskar (Proprietor of M/s Pixal Design)” with Wazirx and utilized it to buy cryptocurrencies, the ED further described, magnifying that afterward the said cryptocurrencies were further moved to another account in another crypto exchange, i.e. Binance.

The balance of said transferred cryptocurrencies that are 77.62710139 bitcoins Rs 12.83 crore approximately which is around equivalent to USD 1,573,466 at the Binance crypto exchange has been frozen.

Binance was considered to have acquired Wazirx in 2019. Nevertheless, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently said that the investment was never completed, emphasizing that Binance has never at any point owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity managing Wazirx.

Also read, India is investigating 10 crypto exchanges for laundering more than $125 million

The ED froze the bank assets of Wazirx worth more than $8 million back in August. However, recently, Wazirx expressed that its bank accounts have been unfrozen. Following Wazirx, the ED froze crypto and bank assets worth $46 million of Vauld, a crypto platform supported by Peter Thiel. In August, the agency probed crypto exchange Coinswitch Kuber. Regardless, the CEO of the exchange stated that it was not related to money laundering inquiries.


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