wazirx: Binance cuts ties with WazirX, claims to own no shares in Indian cryptocurrency exchange

Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said the company does not own a stake in WazirX, following the recent investigation into money laundering conducted by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in Zanmai Labs. Zanmai Labs is the parent entity of the Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, which was acquired by Binance in 2019.

“Binance does not own any stake in Zanmai Labs, the entity that manages WazirX and founded by the original founders. On November 21, 2019, Binance published a blog post claiming it had” acquired “WazirX. This transaction never took place. Binance has never – at any time – owned shares in Zanmai Labs, the entity that manages WazirX, “Zhao said in response to a question from ET about ED’s recent money laundering investigation into Zanmai Labs. .

WazirX is being investigated by the tax office in a money laundering case. ED said on Friday that WazirX’s parental agreement with international entities including Binance (Cayman Islands) would have overshadowed ownership of the cryptocurrency exchange.

Zhao added that recent allegations about the operation of WazirX and how the platform is operated by Zanmai Labs are of “deep concern” to Binance, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume.

Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO, WazirX did not answer ET’s question for comment.

“Binance only provides wallet services for WazirX as a technical solution. There is also integration using off-chain transactions, to save on network fees. WazirX is responsible for and manages all other aspects of the WazirX exchange, including the registration of users, KYC (Know Your Client) and trading, “Zhao added.

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Zhao said Binance works with law enforcement agencies around the world.

“We would be happy to work with ED in any way possible if they contacted us,” the Binance spokesperson said.

On Friday, ED said he recently conducted research on one of the directors of Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd and issued a freeze order to freeze their bank balances in the amount of Rs. 64.67 crore. According to the agency, WazirX has “actively” assisted some 16 fintech companies under investigation on money laundering charges to divert their alleged crime proceeds using the cryptocurrency route. The agency’s investigation found that the exchange has a complicated ownership structure that makes it “obscure”.

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