Indian crypto exchanges under investigation for $3.5billion drug trade

Around 200 transactions were conducted in the Cayman Islands, Nigeria & the British Virgin Islands, were routed through crypto exchanges located in India.

India’s (ED)Enforcement Directorate & the Income Tax Department along with other Indian agencies are probing three digital asset management companies
after the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) raised an alarm over their role in illegal drug transactions worth $3.5 Billion.

According to a report in ET, “Digital currency was used to buy and sell drugs and some of these companies facilitated it…So far
the agency has been able to track transactions worth Rs 28,000 crore,”.

The transactions were routed through exchanges located in India, the report added. The transactions were reportedly conducted between 2019 and 2021.

This information came after the Hyderabad Narcotics Enforcement Wing arrested several drug traffickers for operating on the
Dark Web using crypto transactions.

Even though the trade volume of cryptocurrency is falling down in India but currently, 7 percent of the Indian population owns
digital currency and its adoption are among the fastest in the world.

The Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have repeatedly raised doubts regarding the opacity of crypto transactions.

According to Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the world must adopt crypto regulations to mitigate the risk of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terror funding. The OECD also released a framework to facilitate global regulation of such currencies.