Saturday, November, 26,2022

Deposits and withdrawals working as usual, says WazirX after ED raids

Mumbai: A day after the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) raided one of its directors and froze Bank balances to the tune of Rs 64.67 crore, crypto-currency exchange WazirX on Saturday said its deposits and withdrawals are working as usual.

"Notwithstanding the action taken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), we would like to state that currently deposits and withdrawals are working as usual. We are evaluating our further plan of action and will always act in the best interest of users," WazirX said in a tweet. In another tweet, the crypto-currency exchange operator said it has been fully cooperating with the enforcement agency.

"We have been fully cooperating with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for several days and have responded to all their queries fully and transparently. We do not agree with the allegations in the ED press release. We are evaluating our further plan of action," WazirX said.
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Friday said it has conducted searches on one of the directors of Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd which owns WazirX and has issued a freezing order to freeze their Bank balances to the tune of Rs 64.67 crore.

Because of the non-cooperative stand of the Director of WazirX exchange, a search operation was conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on 3rd August 2022 and it was found that Sameer Mhatre, Director WazirX, has complete remote access to the database of WazirX, but despite that he is not providing the details of the transactions relating to the crypto assets, purchased from the proceeds of crime of Instant Loan APP fraud, ED said in a statement.
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.

It has made no efforts to trace these 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. Therefore, equivalent movable assets to the extent of Rs 64.67 crore lying with WazirX were frozen under PMLA, 2002, the enforcement agency said.

The Enforcement Directorate has been conducting a Money Laundering investigation against a number of Indian non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and their fintech partners for predatory lending practices in violation of the RBI guidelines and by using tele-callers who misuse personal data and use abusive language to extort high-interest rates from the loan takers. (ANI)

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