- India’s Enforcement Directorate is investigating at least ten crypto exchanges for allegedly laundering funds.
- The ED estimates that the cryptocurrency exchanges in question laundered over 1,000 crore rupees in an instant loan app case.
- The money laundering investigation news gained attention following ED’s raid on the properties of a WazirX executive.
India’s Enforcement Directorate, the nation’s law enforcement and economic intelligence agency, is investigating at least ten cryptocurrency exchanges for allegedly laundering funds, the Economic Times reported, citing unnamed people close to the matter.
According to the report, the ED estimates that the cryptocurrency exchanges in question laundered over 1,000 crore rupees in an instant loan app case, with most having a China link.
Furthermore, Economic Times’ sources told the digital media that the exchanges did not even conduct due diligence and failed to raise suspicious transaction reports. An ED press release shared last week reads:
After the criminal investigation began, many of these fintech APPs have shut shop & diverted away the huge profits earned using the above modus operandi. While doing fund trail investigation, ED found that large amount of funds were diverted by the fintech companies to purchase Crypto assets and then launder them abroad.
The ED admitted that the funds are currently untraceable and that summons were already issued to the accused cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the Economic Times report, the government agency is expected to question officials of these exchanges next week.
While so far the agency has frozen the accounts of WazirX, similar transactions have taken place on the other exchanges and they have been asked to join the probe.
Notably, the money laundering investigation news gained attention following ED’s raid on the properties of a WazirX executive. This started a Twitter spat between Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty over ownership of the Indian exchange.