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    Reprieve for WazirX as ED unfreezes bank accounts of crypto exchange

    Reprieve for WazirX as ED unfreezes bank accounts of crypto exchange

    Reprieve for WazirX as ED unfreezes bank accounts of crypto exchange
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    By CNBC-TV18  IST (Published)

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    Back in August, ED had frozen Rs 64.67-crore worth of bank deposits of WazirX as part of an ongoing money laundering probe against some fraud smartphone-based loan dishing apps "backed by" Chinese funds.

    Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX on Monday, September 12, said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unfrozen its bank accounts and it has resumed banking operations.
    In an online post, the company said, "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. WazirX is now in a position to continue its banking operations as usual."
    Back in August, ED had frozen Rs 64.67 crore worth of bank deposits of WazirX as part of an ongoing money laundering probe against some fraud smartphone-based loan dishing apps "backed by" Chinese funds.
    The crypto exchange said after an in-depth internal investigation, that WazirX noticed that most of the users whose information was sought by ED were already identified as suspicious by WazirX internally and were blocked in 2020-2021.
    The company clarified that it has no association with any of the alleged accused fintech and instant loan app entities which appear to be the subject of ED investigation, and is carrying out the KYC/AML checks despite having no legal obligation to do so. WazirX is like any other intermediary whose platform may have been misused.
    WazirX said it has a no-tolerance policy towards any illegal activities using its platform and mandates the users to use it for legal and bonafide purposes only. On WazirX, the users undertake to operate as per all the applicable laws.
    The agency said it conducted raids against Sameer Mhatre, a director of Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd (which owns WazirX) on August 3 as he was not forthcoming with information being sought from him and was "non-cooperative."
    Further, the agency said it found that a number of fintech companies involved in "predatory lending" through mobile apps in the country "diverted maximum amounts of funds to WazirX exchange and the crypto-assets so purchased have been diverted to unknown foreign wallets."
    The ED has charged WazirX on at least four counts of non-cooperative behaviour that forced it to hit a wall in the investigation against the menace of instant loan apps.
    Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd has created a web of agreements with Crowdfire Inc USA, Binance (Cayman Islands), and Zettai Pte Ltd Singapore to "obscure" the ownership of the crypto exchange (WazirX), it alleged.
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