As many as ten crypto exchanges were under the lens of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for their alleged involvement in money laundering of around Rs 10 billion.
The ED had on August 5 conducted searches on the premises of one of the Directors of Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd, which owns the popular crypto currency exchange WazirX and issued a freezing order to freeze their Bank balances to the tune of Rs 64.67 crore. This action led the ED to ten crypto exchanges.
After this, summons were issued to the crypto exchanges. It was alleged by the ED that the proceeds of crime were being used to buy crypto assets. The ED has doubts that the crypto assets of over Rs 100 crore were bought, which were nothing but proceeds of crime. Later on these crypto assets were siphoned off abroad.
The ED had said that the equivalent movable assets to the extent of Rs 64.67 crore lying with WazirX were frozen.
The ED found that similar transactions took place on the other exchanges after which they were summoned by the ED.
ED sources said that the crypto exchanges didn't complete the KYC process of their investors. And, when the ED traced a few investors on the basis of their KYC they reportedly turned out to be fake.
"While doing fund trail investigation, we found that a large amount of funds were diverted by the fintech companies to purchase crypto assets and then launder them abroad. These companies and the virtual assets are untraceable at the moment. Summons were issued to the crypto exchanges. It is seen that the maximum amount of funds were diverted to WazirX exchange and the crypto assets so purchased have been diverted to unknown foreign wallets," the ED had earlier said.
(With inputs from IANS)