India: Binance Holdings subject of anti-money laundering and betting investigation

By Sehaj Dhillon

India’s anti-money laundering agency is reportedly examining whether Binance Holdings was involved in an ongoing investigation into betting apps.  

As reported by BNN Bloomberg, the Enforcement Directorate has summoned Binance executives for questioning and is currently awaiting their response.  

The ongoing investigation is probing betting apps that are run by Chinese operators, which have collected more than 10 billion rupees ($134m) over the past 10 months.  

They have been alleged to launder part of the total through the WazirX cryptocurrency exchange; and in 2019, Binance acquired WazirX.  

Binance had been facing regulatory pressure from India, as the country begins to scrutinise the industry over concerns that cryptocurrencies are being used to conceal proceeds from money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism.  

Allegedly, the operators of the betting apps in question used wallets with WazirX for the purpose of buying, converting and transferring the money to wallets on Binance’s platform.  

The enforcement directorate has already issued a show cause notice to WazirX over an alleged breach of foreign exchange management rules, in transactions involving cryptocurrencies worth 27.9 billion rupees.  

In addition, the Indian anti-money laundering agency found that Binance did not collect the required know-your-customer documents from clients during most of the transactions.  

Meanwhile, no information required for virtual currencies by global anti-money laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force, was included.  


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