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Crypto exchange WazirX gets ED notice


The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it had unearthed a big money laundering racket involving Chinese nationals who used cryptocurrency exchanges in India to launder huge funds out of the country. The agency issued a showcause notice to WazirX, one of India’s biggest crypto exchanges, for transactions worth Rs 2,800 crore.

In a statement, the ED said its probe found that WazirX helped Chinese-owned illegal online betting applications launder money from India by converting deposits in Indian currency to cryptocurrency tether and then transferring to Binance (an exchange registered in Cayman Islands) wallets, based on instructions received from abroad. Tether is a controversial cryptocurrency with tokens issued by Tether Limited.

“ED has issued a showcause notice to cryptocurrency exchange Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd (WazirX) and its directors Nischal Shetty and Sameer Hanuman Mhatre under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fe-ma) for transactions involving cryptocurrency worth Rs 2,790.7 crore,” the agency said.

WaxirX’s CEO and co-founder Nischal Shetty said they were yet to receive any showcause notice from the ED. Shetty tweeted, “We are able to trace all users on our platform with official identity information. Should we receive a formal communication or notice from the ED, we will fully cooperate in the investigation.”

He also said they were in compliance with all applicable laws and went beyond their legal obligations by following know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering processes and had always provided information to law enforcement authorities whenever required.


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