3 Indian Crypto Exchanges On Investigators Radar For $3.5 Billion In Illegal Drug Deals

Indian investigating authorities are investigating three cryptocurrency exchanges for their role in illegal drug trafficking deals after being alerted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which targeted almost 200 such transactions.

According to an Economic Times report, these financial transactions for alleged drug trafficking in Nigeria, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands were allegedly carried out through three Indian digital asset management companies.

Illegal drug dealings

The Enforcement Administration (ED) and the Department of Income Tax, among other agencies, are investigating the case.

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“Digital currency has been used to buy and sell drugs and some of these companies have facilitated this… So far, the agency has been able to track Rs 28,000 crore worth of transactions. [$3.5 billion]The Economic Times quoted an unnamed senior government official.

According to investigators, most of these transactions were made through these three crypto firms and were not reported to the authorities.

These deals, which took place between 2019 and 2022, came to light after the Hyderabad Drug Enforcement Authority arrested several drug traffickers, according to media reports. They worked on the dark web and used cryptocurrencies for payments.

The FIU is the national agency that receives all reports of suspicious financial transactions from Indian election agencies and works closely with law enforcement agencies internationally in the investigation of terrorism and drug financing.

A look at the darknet and crypto

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said at a high-level meeting on drug trafficking and national security last week that drug trafficking through the dark web and cryptocurrencies has increased in recent years.

Over the past few months, Indian investigative authorities have been actively looking for cases of fraud and wrongdoing in the local crypto space. Earlier this month, ED raided several premises linked to a gaming app scam allegation and recovered cash and bitcoin that had been frozen.

In August, ED searched the offices and residences of key CoinSwitch Kuber executives, including the directors and CEO, for alleged violations of the exchange rules. Earlier it was reported that ED is investigating 10 private companies for money laundering in the amount of $125 million.

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