India Freezes Bitcoin At Binance Amid Investigation Involving Crypto Exchange Wazirx

India’s Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate said it froze more than 77.6 bitcoins that were transferred to Binance from Indian crypto exchange Wazirx. The freeze is part of an investigation into money laundering in a mobile gaming app.

Indian Authority Freezes Bitcoin Held at Crypto Exchange Binance

India’s Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) announced on Wednesday that it has frozen 77.62710139 bitcoins under the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED is the law enforcement and economic intelligence agency of the Government of India.

The freeze is part of ED’s investigation into a mobile gaming app called E-nuggets. According to the announcement, the cryptocurrency has been transferred from Wazirx, a popular Indian exchange, to Binance. The ED also tweeted a summary of its action.

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India Freezes Bitcoin Held at Crypto Exchange Binance Amid Ongoing Investigation Involving Wazirx

The law enforcement agency explained that “Aamir Khan, S/o Nesar Ahmed Khan has launched a mobile gambling application, namely E-Nuggets, which has been designed for the purpose of defrauding [the] public,” adding:

After collecting a seizable sum of money from the public, all of a sudden, the takedown of said app was stopped under one pretext or the other. Subsequently, all data including profile information was erased from said application servers.

The ED explained that its investigations revealed that the accused had transferred some of the illegally earned funds abroad through the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx.

The defendant allegedly opened a fictitious account in the name of “Sima Naskar (owner of M/s Pixal Design)” with Wazirx and used it to buy crypto-currencies, explained the ED, specifying:

Subsequently, said cryptocurrencies were then transferred to another account in another crypto exchange, namely Binance.

“The balance of said transferred crypto-currencies is 77.62710139 bitcoins [equivalent to USD 1,573,466 (Rs 12.83 crore approximately)] to the Binance crypto exchange has been frozen,” the ED wrote.

Binance is believed to have acquired Wazirx in 2019. However, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently stated that the acquisition “was never finalized,” pointing out that “Binance has never – at any moment – ​​owned shares of Zanmai Labs, the operating entity of Wazirx.

The ED froze Wazirx’s bank assets worth more than $8 million in August. However, earlier this month, Wazirx said his bank accounts had been unfrozen. After Wazirx, the ED froze crypto and banking assets worth $46 million from Vauld, a crypto platform backed by Peter Thiel. In August, the agency searched the crypto exchange Coinswitch Kuber. However, the exchange’s CEO said it was not linked to any money laundering investigations.

What do you think of the frozen bitcoin ED held at the Binance crypto exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Kevin Helms

An economics student from Austria, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests include Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects, and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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India Freezes Bitcoin At Binance Amid Investigation Involving Crypto Exchange Wazirx

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