India’s Cryptocurrency Exchange on Investigator’s Radar for $3.5 Billion Illegal Drug Deal

Following an alert by India’s Financial Intelligence Unit, agencies are examining transactions that took place between 2019 and 2021.

Indian investigative agencies are investigating three crypto exchanges for their role in illicit drug dealings after they were alerted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), The unit has examined nearly 200 such transactions.

The financial transactions for suspected drug deals in Nigeria, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands are believed to have been made through three Indian digital asset management firms, a newspaper reported. reported in the Economic Times.

Illegal drug dealing

The Bureau of Enforcement (ED) and the Income Tax Department, among others, are investigating the incident.

“Cryptocurrency is used to buy and sell drugs and some of these companies have facilitated it… So far the agency has been able to track transactions worth Rs 28,000 crore [3.5 billion] USD],” the Economic Times quoted an unnamed government official as saying.

The majority of these transactions were conducted through these three crypto companies and they were not reported to the authorities, the investigators believe.

According to media reports, these transactions that took place between 2019 and 2022 were brought to light after several drug dealers were arrested by the Hyderabad Drug Enforcement Wing. They used to operate on the Dark Web and used cryptocurrencies for payments.

The FIU is the national body that receives all reports of suspicious financial transactions from the investigative authorities of India and cooperates extensively with international law enforcement agencies in investigating terrorism. drug fathers and sponsors.

A Look at the Dark Net and Crypto

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah last week said at a high-level meeting on drug trafficking and national security that cases of drug trafficking through the dark net and cryptocurrencies have increased in recent years. recent years.

Over the past few months, Indian investigative agencies have been actively pursuing fraud and misconduct in the local crypto space. Earlier this month, the ED raided several facilities linked to alleged game app fraud and recovered frozen cash and bitcoin.

In August, the ED searched the offices and residences of top CoinSwitch Kuber executives, including directors and executives, on suspicion of violations of foreign exchange rules. Earlier, it was reported that the ED was investigating 10 private companies for money laundering with the amount of 125 million USD.

Read more: Bitcoin hits new 6-week high as Ethereum liquidates $240M more shorts

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