India Freezes Bitcoin At Binance Amidst Wazirx Investigation

According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India, it has frozen a total of 77.6 bitcoins that were transferred from Wazirx, the Indian crypto exchange, to Binance.

This freeze is part of the ED’s investigation of a mobile gaming application in regard to money laundering issues.

Frozen bitcoin

The announcement was made by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in India on Wednesday about freezing a total of 77.62710139 bitcoins under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the country.

The ED is India’s economic intelligence and law enforcement agency of the Indian government. The freeze was imposed because of the agency’s investigation into E-nuggets.

This is a mobile gaming application. The cryptocurrency that has been frozen had been transferred to the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, from the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx.

The ED summarized its actions in a tweet. According to the law enforcement agency, the mobile gaming application called E-nuggets had been launched by the son of Nesar Ahmed Khan, Aamir Khan.

It said that the application had been meant to defraud the public, as it collected a large amount of money from the people and then prevented withdrawals from the app for one reason or the other.

Eventually, all the information, which included profile and other details, had been wiped out from the servers of the app.

The investigation

According to the ED, their investigation into the mobile gaming application revealed that part of the funds that were earned illegally had been transferred overseas through the popular Indian crypto exchange, Wazirx.

A dummy account had allegedly been opened by the accused with Wazirx in the name of Sima Naskar, who is the proprietor of M/s Pixal Design, and had been used for buying cryptocurrencies.

The ED then elaborated that the said cryptocurrencies had been transferred to yet another account on a different crypto exchange i.e. Binance.

Therefore, the ED took the decision of freezing the balance of the crypto that had been transferred to the Binance account.

This amount was around 77.62710139 bitcoins, which is around $1,573,466, or Indian Rs. 12.83 crores.

Previous issues

It was believed that the Wazirx crypto exchange had been acquired by Binance back in 2019, but Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of Binance, recently said that they had never completed the acquisition.

He emphasized that the Binance crypto exchange had not owned any shares at any point in the entity that is operating WazirX i.e. Zanmai Labs.

Back in August, the ED had also frozen assets worth $8 million that belonged to the Wazirx exchange. But, earlier this month, the crypto exchange revealed that its accounts were unfrozen once more.

Other than Wazirx, the ED had also taken action against Vauld when it decided to freeze its assets worth $46 million. This crypto platform has the support of Peter Thiel.

The agency had also conducted a search of another crypto exchange in August called Coinswitch Kuber. But the exchange’s CEO had revealed at that time that it was not a money laundering investigation.

By Brandon Craig
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