The Executive Directorate (ED) of India announced that it has frozen more than 77.6 bitcoins transferred from Indian crypto exchange Wazirx to Binance. The freeze is part of a money laundering investigation into mobile gaming applications.
Indian authorities freeze bitcoins held on crypto exchange Binance
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED)announcedWednesday 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 Indian government.
The freeze is part of the ED’s investigation into a mobile gaming application called E-nuggets. According to the announcement, the cryptocurrency was transferred from Wazirx, a popular Indian exchange, to Binance; the ED also tweeted a summary of its actions.
Law enforcement explained that “Aamir Khan, S/o Nesar Ahmed Khan, launched a mobile gaming application called E-Nuggets, which was designed to defraud (the public),” and added that.
After collecting a seizable amount of money from the public, withdrawals from the said application were suddenly stopped under some pretext. All data, including profile information, was then deleted from the app’s servers.
The ED explained that the investigation revealed that the accused transferred some of his ill-gotten funds abroad through the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx.
The ED further elaborates that the accused allegedly opened a dummy account in the name of “Sima Naskar (Proprietor of M/s Pixal Design)” at Wazirx and used it to purchase cryptocurrency.
The aforementioned cryptocurrency was then further transferred to another account at another crypto exchange, namely Binance.
“The balance of the aforementioned transferred cryptocurrency i.e. 77.62710139 bitcoins (equivalent to USD 1,573,466 (approximately 12.83 kroner)) on Binance crypto exchange has been frozen,” the ED wrote.
Binance was believed to have acquired Wazirx in 2019. However, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently stated that the acquisition “did not complete” and stressed that “Binance never – at any point in time – owned a stake in Zanmai Labs, which operates Wazirx.”
ED froze Wazirx’s bank assets worth more than $8 million in August. Earlier this month, however, Wazirx announced that its bank accounts had been unfrozen; following Wazirx, ED froze $46 million worth of crypto and bank assets of Vauld, a Peter Thiel-backed crypto platform; in August, the crypto exchange Coinswitch Kuber was investigated. However, the exchange’s CEO said it had nothing to do with the money laundering investigation.
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