India Freezes Assets of Binance-owned Exchange “WazirX” to Investigate Money Laundering

    As reported by Reuters on Aug 5, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has frozen assets of the largest exchange in this country, WazirX, which was acquired by Binance in 2019. This action is related to ongoing investigations against several companies suspected of violating foreign exchange regulations. 

    ED announced they have frozen assets worth 46.70 million rupees ($8.16 million). The agency asserted its action was related to the investigation into the suspected role of WazirX in assisting instant loan app companies in laundering the proceeds of crime by converting it into cryptocurrencies on its platform.

    ED has been looking into a money laundering case involving illegal Chinese-owned online betting apps. During the investigation, ED found that approximately Rs 570 million worth of criminal proceeds were converted into crypto on the WazirX exchange. In fact, ED conducted another investigation in 2021 into WazirX because the exchange was suspected of violating foreign exchange regulations.

    Source: CoinMarketCap

    Interestingly, two month ago, Binance itself was also accused of indirectly participating in money laundering but on a larger scale, amounting to $2.35 billion between 2017 and 2021. However, even with the bad news, the price of WRX has only been volatile for a short time and is trading at $0.269 at the time of writing.

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