Regarding the news of WazirX assets being seized by the Government of India, Binance Boss Changpeng Zhao (CZ) confirmed that his party has no shares in WazirX. In 2019, Binance announced that it was acquiring the exchange.
On Friday (8/5/2022), India’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency said that they has frozen WazirX’s assets, which is owned by Binance, as part of an investigation into alleged violations of foreign exchange (forex) regulations and money laundering. The value of the confiscated property is Rp. 121.5 billion.
The public knows that Binance has control over the WazirX crypto exchange, because in 2019 Binance has taken it over.
In response, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) denied that he was involved in and had a stake in WazirX. He also confirmed that the news on Binance and WazirX are fake.
“Binance does not own any stake in Zanmai Labs, the company that operates WazirX and was founded by its original founder,” CZ posted on Twitter.
A quick thread about Binance and WazirX, and some incorrect reports.
Binance does not own any stake in Zanmai Labs, the entity that operates WazirX and was established by the original founders.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) August 5, 2022
Although in 2019 Binance announced that it had acquired WazirX, CZ confirmed that the move was null and void and that the transaction was never completed.
“Our participation in the exchange is simply the provision of crypto wallet services, and all operations, including the implementation of KYC, are fully handled by WazirX,” CZ said.
WazirX Founder: WazirX is still owned by Binance
Contrary to CZ’s statement, Nischal Shetty as the founder and CEO of WazirX admitted that their company is still owned by the world’s largest crypto exchange.
“WazirX is still owned by Binance,” Shetty told online media IndiaTimes.
WazirX involved in alleged money laundering case
Crypto exchange assets in India have been frozen by the Indian government in connection with money laundering cases.
“The Federal Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has frozen assets worth 646.70 million rupees (US$8.16 million) [atau setara dengan Rp121,5 milyar-Red],” He said Reuters referring to official sources. WazirX has not yet responded to this.
The agency said their move was related to an investigation into the alleged role of crypto exchanges in helping instant loan app companies launder the proceeds of crime by converting them into crypto.
“While conducting our fund trail investigation, we discovered that financial technology companies were diverting large amounts of funds to purchase crypto assets and then launder them overseas. The maximum amount of funds transferred to the exchange WazirX and crypto assets so that purchases were transferred to other unknown crypto wallets,” he said in an official statement.
An intensive investigation was also conducted against one of the directors Zanmai Laboratorya company that also has a stake in WazirX in India.
Based on an investigation by Blockchainmedia.id editors, Zanmai Lab is run by Nischal Shetty and Sameer Hanuman Mhatre. Shetty is the founder and CEO of WazirX along with Mhatre. [ps]