Thursday, September 29, 2022

WazirX’s statement after ED raid, company’s business going on as usual

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Friday that it has recently frozen a bank balance of Rs 64.67 crore by raiding a director of crypto exchange ‘WazirX’. Now it has been reiterated by WazirX that the operations of the company are going on as normal and the work related to the withdrawal of crypto and rupees is also being processed. The crypto exchange tweeted on Sunday evening that given the recent news about WazirX, we would like to assure you that the company is operating as usual.

Earlier on Saturday, WazirX said it was “fully cooperating” with the ED for “several days” and has answered all their questions in a “complete and transparent manner”. Further, WazirX had said that the company does not agree with the allegations leveled by the ED and is evaluating its “plan of further action”.

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it had searched one of the directors of Zanmai Labs, which owns WazirX. An order has been issued to freeze their bank balance. The ED had said that a search operation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was conducted on August 3, 2022, due to the non-cooperative stand of the Director of WazirX Exchange. Investigation revealed that Sameer Mhatre, the director of WazirX, had remote access to the database of WazirX. Despite this, he is not giving details of transactions related to crypto assets.

Earlier on Tuesday, in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary had said that the ED is probing alleged money laundering of Rs 2,790 crore through crypto exchange WazirX. He had told that the investigation conducted so far in one case has revealed that Wazirx was using the infrastructure of the Cayman Islands-based exchange Binance. The investigation found that not all crypto transactions between these two exchanges were being recorded on the blockchain and remained secret. In this case, a show cause notice (SCN) was issued against WazirX under the provisions of FEMA.

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