Bitcoin: Indian Authorities Freeze 77.6 BTC Sent from WazirX to Binance

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: Gerona

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) (ED) of India has frozen 77.6 BTC (Bitcoin) on Binance. The ED is India’s economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime. The coins were transferred to Binance from the Indian crypto exchange WazirX. The move is connected to the current investigation into a mobile game called E-Nuggets.

According to the agency, the game was created by a person named Aamir Khan and it was designed to defraud the public. Once the game had collected an ample amount of money, withdrawals were closed “on one pretext or the other.” Soon after all data, including profile information, was wiped from the servers.

The ED’s investigations revealed that the accused had used the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx to send some of the illegally acquired funds abroad. According to the allegations, the defendant registered a fake account with Wazirx under the name “Sima Naskar (Proprietor of M/s Pixal Design)” and used it to buy crypto, such as Bitcoin. After the purchase, the crypto was sent to another account on Binance. The 77.6 Bitcoin transferred is valued at $1.57 million (Rs. 12.83 crores).

Furthermore, the authorities searched the premises of the accused and found and seized cash amounting to $2.12 million.

The Binance-WazirX debacle

There has been some issue as to whether Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, owns WazirX. The crypto giant was believed to have acquired the Indian exchange in 2019. However, CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said that the acquisition was never completed.

CZ stated,

“Binance has never — at any point — owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating Wazirx.”

WazirX was also caught in the middle of a money laundering investigation in August, which resulted in the exchange’s bank assets being frozen. Nonetheless, the assets were unfrozen earlier this month.

After heavy taxes were levied on crypto investments in India, WazirX witnessed a significant drop in customer interest. Consequently, the exchange moved its base to Dubai, which has a much more crypto-friendly environment.