Here is another cryptocurrency freeze story that may be of interest to guardians of decentralization. This takes place in India. Indeed, the Law Enforcement Directorate (ED) has just confiscated bitcoins and tethers on Binance. Big plan !
Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies frozen in India
India’s ED has just completed the freeze of cryptos as part of its investigation into E-nuggets, a mobile gaming application. Here is his post about this progress on Twitter:
The Government of India’s Law Enforcement and Economic Intelligence Agency also provided details regarding his seizure:
- WRX, the utility token of WazirX and the project that CZ reportedly wanted to buy in 2019, but later abandoned;
- tether (USDT);
- bitcoin (BTC).
As for the bitcoins frozen by ED, their total amount is 86 BTC, or 1.6 million US dollars. The latter being found on the CZ exchange, Binance.
What about the E-nuggets investigation?
As a reminder, the E-nuggets case was opened by the ED in February 2021 after suspecting Aamir Khan, and others connected with the project, of money laundering perpetrators. The latter would have launched E-Nuggets in order to defraud the public, according to the Directorate of Enforcement.
” Moreover, after collecting handsome sums from the public, the removal of the said application was suddenly stopped, under the pretext of one or the other excuse “, she added.
Upon further investigation, the Indian agency was able to find that Aamir Khan transferred his loot obtained from E-nuggets to WazirX.
” An amount equivalent to 47.64 million rupees was found in the wallet of WazirX (cryptocurrency exchange) belonging to Aamir Khan and his associates, and this amount was frozen under the PMLA. It should also be noted that a search of his home resulted in the seizure of Rs 17.32 crore.
Also note that India’s ED had already frozen WazirX’s bank assets last August. Except that a month later, the agency decided to unfreeze the confiscated assets of the Indian exchange.
Other crypto and banking assets seized by the Directorate of Enforcement also include those of crypto exchange Vauld ($46 million) and Coinswitch Kuber. The CEO of this second platform, however, denied the existence of activities related to money laundering in its ecosystem.
And decentralization in all this?
While the freezing of ill-gotten crypto assets might appeal to some, others see it as an opportunity for confiscation for other reasons. If Canada, the United States, and now India, have succeeded in confiscating crypto to weaken the Freedom Convoy trucker protests, or to curb illicit activity, others will follow suit. Is decentralization not threatened if all regulators have such powers?
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