Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber is accused of violating forex laws.
CoinSwitch Kuber, an Indian app-based crypto exchange established in 2017, received attention from an Indian anti-money laundering agency, Enforcement Directorate (ED).
According to the news report shared by Bloomberg on August 25th, the agency searched the company's premises under the suspension that CoinSwitch Kuber violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act’s (FEMA) forex laws.
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In total, the agency searched 5 premises connected to CoinSwith Kuber, including its offices and homes of the CEO and directors. Bloomberg notes that CoinSwitch has allegedly violated know-your-customer (KYC) norms, which resulted in acquiring shares worth more than 20 billion rupees (around $250 million).
When asked about the investigation and raid, the ED official noted:
We are looking into multiple possible contraventions under FEMA and other entities that are connected to it. Since we did not receive the desired cooperation we have conducted searches on (residences) of directors, the CEO, and the official premises.
Although CoinSwitch hasn’t addressed this matter on their social media accounts, reportedly, the company’s spokesperson told IANS:
We receive queries from various government agencies. Our approach has always been that of transparency. Crypto is an early-stage industry with a lot of potential, and we continuously engage with all stakeholders.
This is not the first time the Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) is taking action against crypto exchanges, which are accused of money laundering. Based on some sources, there could be around 10 crypto exchanges involved in laundering around 10 billion rupees (around $130 million).
At the beginning of August, crypto exchange WazirX was also affected by Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigations. The agency froze around $8,1 million in funds as it allegedly facilitated transactions to buy crypto assets and laundered them abroad.
On top of that, the agency has also frozen 370 rupees (around $48 million) worth of bank assets on the crypto lending platform Vauld. The ED blames Valud for having "predatory lending practices".