An Indian youth from Kerala has found himself on the wrong side of the law after local police discovered that he bought drugs off the dark web using cryptocurrency.
According to the Narcotics Control Bureau, the 24-year-old K Rahman bought ecstasy pills worth $27,000 using Bitcoin.
Rahman was scheduled to receive the consignment of drugs from Germany via Chamarajpet’s Foreign Post Office (FPO) before the police came across the contraband.
It has been reported that local authorities followed a tip to uncover the man’s illicit dealings, and intercepted a parcel on July 31 – which contained two concealed packages of about 750 grey and brown pills weighing a total of 159g.
A series of laboratory tests revealed that that the parcel contained the party drug ecstasy that features the list of banned drugs in India.
As reported by the Times of India, a law enforcement probe by the Narcotics Control Bureau yielded the real identity of the shipment’s receiver, the parcel had a fake address in order to avoid law enforcement interception.
After three weeks following the start of the investigations, the police managed to trace and apprehend Rahman who, according to law enforcement reports, had been using the FPO to distribute banned substances to parties and college students.
India’s Crypto Crime Predicament
The Indian ecosystem has witnessed a spate ion crypto-related criminal activities spanning years.
Flashing back, expert reports intimated the occurrence of a high number of local investors who lost money through scams – with specific figures showing that Indian investors sustained a massive $500 million in losses to fraud schemes that took place between the year 2017 and 2019.
A June 2020 report indicated that Palghar law enforcement agents had caught up with five people believed to be affiliated with a fraud scheme targeting crypto investors since the year 2017. It turned out that the group of scammers had promised big money to investors who purchased virtual assets from them.
The oblivious victims lost their funds after making purchases in cheques and cash to the scheme’s masterminds.
Recently, Indian media reported that a host of threat actors have created a mobile application designed to scam people considered to be of “high net worth” within cryptocurrency circles. The report went further to elucidate that cybercriminals were contacting target victims and asking them to download the mobile app while purporting it to be a crypto exchange.
It turns out that the fraudulent scheme works once victims deposit their coins, which end up disappearing.
Pursuit to the latest reports, Manan Shah, founding CEO of Avalance Global Solutions, reflected on the current state of Indian crypto crime cases by stating that an unknown victim had lost about $50,000 to a similar mobile crypto scam app – another investor lost more than $3 million in identical circumstances.
Will India Ban Cryptocurrency?
The recent events surrounding the world of crypto crime may fuel the Indian government’s resolve to ban cryptocurrencies.
Point to note, the country’s Supreme Court had passed a resolution to reverse a ban on virtual assets by the Reserve Bank. New reports reflect on the fact that the Indian authorities are considering another go against digital coins.
In fact, a news source cited the occurrence of consultative meetings between the Reserve Bank, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Law and Justice concerning creation of a roadmap towards another ban on crypto.
Such a ban will constitute a full legal process that would see to it that cryptocurrencies do not operate freely.
Further, the government of India may be pursuing ratification of an already-existing bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019”.