Hours after the scrutiny of India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) on WazirX, Binance CEO CZ responded on its relation with WazirX. After raiding the premises of WazirX, the authorities froze the exchange’s bank assets over allegations of money laundering. The ED officials accused WazirX of assisting instant loan app companies in fraudulent transactions through cryptocurrency purchases.
The ED said the searches led to freezig of bank assets worth Rs 64.67 crore. The action was taken for assisting accused instant loan app companies in laundering of fraud money, it said.
CZ Clarifies On Binance WazirX Acquisition
Meanwhile, Binance chief executive officer CZ responded to reports of Binance’s acquisition of WazirX in 2019. In his tweet, the CEO said Binance never owned WazirX, contrary to reports in circulation. He clarified that the acquisition attempts were made but the deal never materialized. Binance does not own any equity in WazirX’s parent company, he said in a tweet on Friday. CZ explained that the deal talks, about which details were revealed in November 2019, were not successful.
“On 21 Nov 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never – at any point – owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX.”
The Binance CEO added that his company only provides wallet services for WazirX as a provider of technology solution. The partnership also involves integration using off-chain transactions to save on network fees, he stated. Hence, CZ indicated that the allegations faced by WairX have nothing to do with Binance. “WazirX is responsible all other aspects of the WazirX exchange, including user sign-up, KYC, trading and initiating withdrawals.”
“Allegations On WazirX Concerning”
CZ expressed concerns about the allegations around WazirX’s operations. Recent allegations about the operation of WazirX are of deep concern to Binance, he explained. “Binance collaborates with law enforcement agencies all around the world. We would be happy to work with ED in any way possible.”
The Enforcement Directorate’s main contention is that WazirX helped the accused companies transfer out money outside India through cryptocurrencies. The country’s Foreign Exchange Management Act provides for high scutiny on suspicious financial transactions to outside its jurisdiction. The ED stated that a big chunk of the funds are transferred to Hong Kong by the loan app operators.
Recently, the WazirX management said it was planning to shift its headquarters to Dubai thanks to a tough stance in India. The Indian government imposed a 30% tax on digital assets and a 1% tax on all crypto transactions, making it difficult for the crypto community.
However, a tweet by CZ last year clearly indicated that WazirX is owned by his company. In his tweet, he described the Indian exchange as “Binance-owned Indian crypto exchange WazirX.”