Tuesday, March 21

Funds Over Rs. 953 Crore Involved in Crypto Crimes Seized in India, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

Indian authorities have confiscated funds worth Rs. 953.70 crores from busting crypto-related crimes in recent years, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lower House on Tuesday, March 9. India, which is currently working with the G20 nations to draft uniform international crypto guidelines, has bracketed the crypto sector inside tax laws to keep some track of the transactional records. Meanwhile, India’s financial watch — the Enforcement Directorate (ED) — is working closely with the financial ministry to curb crimes around crypto.

Sitharaman was replying to a query by Velusamy P, a parliamentarian from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). She said that the ED is investigating a number of cases under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).

“Five persons have been arrested and 06 Prosecution Complaints (PCs) including 01 supplementary PC have been filed before the Special Court, PMLA in these cases,” Sitharaman’s written reply submitted to the Lok Sabha said.

“Further, under Foreign Exchange management Act, 1999 (FEMA) assets amounting to Rs. 289.28 crores have been seized under section 37 A of FEMA and 01 Show Cause Notice to crypto-currency exchange Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd, known as WazirX, and its Directors under FEMA for transactions involving crypto-currencies worth Rs. 2,790.74 crore has also been issued,” the reply added.

With the crypto culture exploding around the world, Indian investors are also dabbling into the sector.

In a bid to prevent criminals to misuse cryptocurrencies to launder illegal funds, India recently mandated all entities dealing in virtual assets to collect KYC details of their users under the PMLA that now also covers crypto assets.

The Indian Finance Minister has advised all the members of India’s crypto community to carry out due diligence before engaging with the volatile crypto sector.

In India, crypto assets can be traded and held. The country does not, however, equate any cryptocurrency to its fiat currency, making digital assets not a smooth payment option for day-to-day purchases.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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