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WazirX bank accounts unfrozen, even as ED investigation continues

WazirX bank accounts unfrozen, even as ED investigation continues
12 Sep, 2022
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India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has lifted the ban on WazirX from accessing its bank accounts, allowing the crypto exchange to resume its banking operations, WazirX said in an online post, published September 12. 

“Due to the active cooperation extended by Wazir X and active anti-money laundering checks that led to the blocking of suspicious accounts, ED has unfrozen the bank accounts. WazirX is now in a position to continue its banking operations as usual,” the online post said. 

WazirX’s bank accounts worth ₹64.67 crore were frozen last month after ED launched a money laundering investigation into the crypto exchange's alleged role in assisting 16 Indian fintech firms and loan apps by transferring money for them to unknown foreign wallets, according to a Mint report. 

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The crypto exchange maintained that it cooperated with ED and provided them with all the necessary details, information, and documents related to the 16 firms that were using its platform and are being investigated by ED. It also claimed that most of the users whose information was sought by ED were deemed suspicious by the platform and blocked in the last two years. 

“WazirX is like any other intermediary whose platform may have been misused,” the post said. 

WazirX received 1,023 requests from law enforcement agencies between October 2021 and March 2022, up from 377 requests received in the previous six months. Indian law enforcement agencies accounted for 952 of these requests, according to the WazirX semi-annual transparency report published in April. The report showed that 95% of crypto-associated frauds occurred outside the Blockchain ecosystem. 

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ED has launched an investigation into several crypto firms over allegations of money laundering into foreign crypto wallets. Last month, the agency reportedly conducted raids on five locations linked to another crypto firm CoinSwitch Kuber, which said in a statement that it is cooperating with the investigation.