India’s Enforcement Directorate Investigates WazirX

India-based cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, isn’t in the good books of the Enforcement Directorate of India (ED). The platform is allegedly under the investigation of the ED for issues related to facilitating money laundering and the violations of Foreign Exchange Management policies. The criminal allegations extends beyond the platform to its leaders Nischal Shetty and Hanuam Mhatre. 

The value of the illicit transactions that the exchange was accused of laundering is over 27.90 billion Rupees ($381.93 million). The ED says that the exchange platform collaborated with illegal betting sites in China to launder the funds  by facilitating the transactions. Alongside WazirX, Binance accounts were also associated with the criminal activity.

The ED revealed that the exchange had received some  of the laundered funds up to $120 million in USDT from Binance accounts. At the time of investigation, the Indian exchange sent over $191 million to Binance accounts. It should be recalled that Binance acquired the company in 2019, a move that marked a start for the entry of cryptocurrency exchanges in India.

The Faltering Reputation of WazirX and the Desire for Crypto Exchanges to Penetrate the Indian Market

Recently, WaxirX was reported to have denied its users the opportunity to trade Dogecoin during the period DOGE flung to several all-time highs. The exchange servers marked the attempts by users to buy Dogecoin as cyberattacks. 

Aside from the above, the unfriendly stance of the Indian authorities against crypto triggered more difficulties for the platform. The Reserve Bank of India has warned financial institutions to halt the offering of its services to cryptocurrency entities. The move led ICICI, a lending institution, to sever ties with the crypto company, which contributed to the processing issues of the platform. 

Notwithstanding the rigid antagonism of the  Indian government to cryptocurrency, several exchanges desire to penetrate the Indian market. Top exchange platforms like Bitfinex, Kraken and Kucoin are understudying the prospects the country would offer. India is the second-most populous country on earth and its citizens appreciate cryptocurrencies. 

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