Indian Crypto Exchange WazirX at the Center of an Alleged $38M Money Laundering Investigation
WazirX, the top crypto India exchange is at the center of a $38 million money-laundering investigation with a Binance connection. The Enforcement Directorate, a financial watchdog in India today allegedly issued a show-cause notice to the Indian crypto exchange WazirX regarding an ongoing money-laundering investigation into an illegal Chinese betting app.
ED in its official statement claimed the users of the Chinese betting app converted a significant portion of money from Indian currency to crypto stablecoin Tether and later transferred it to Binance. The total amount under the scanner is about $38 million. The financial watchdog claimed they couldn’t find any records of the alleged laundered money on WazirX while accusing them of not implementing AML and KYC guidelines.
WazirX Responds to Allegations
Nischal Shetty, the CEO of WazirX responded to media reports about the alleged ED notice, claiming they are yet to receive any formal communication from the financial watchdog. He went onto add that WazirX complies with all applicable laws including AML guidelines and strict KYC verification.
1/3WazirX is yet to receive any show cause notice from the Enforcement Directorate as mentioned in today's media reports. Predict the price of BTC & AAB and win up to 5,000 USDT!SponsoredWazirX is in compliance with all applicable laws.— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) June 11, 2021
The financial watchdog notice to the Indian crypto exchange comes at a crucial time when the Indian government is planning to introduce a cryptocurrency bill during the upcoming monsoon session of the parliament.
Indian regulators have maintained a regressive stance towards crypto, claiming it to be a tool for illicit activities and if this case holds any ground, it can be used against positive regulatory changes. Only yesterday some inside sources indicated that the government might have a change in stance and reports suggested that Indians may classify Bitcoin as an asset class.
WazirX is one of the most popular Indian crypto exchanges with the highest trading volume in the country. The exchange was bought by Binance in November 2019.Source