Amit Shah, the Union Minister of India, said there is an increase in drug smuggling in India through crypto. Over 7% of the Indian population owns crypto.
Amit Shah, the Union Minister of India said that drug smuggling in India has increased through the darknet and cryptocurrencies. He is also a chief strategist and the close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Major drug smuggling issues in the western states include increasing maritime smuggling of heroin from the west coast, illegal cultivation of narcotics – opium, ganja and poppy, use of couriers and parcels in drug smuggling and dark net and crypto. There is an increase in drug smuggling through currency,” states Amit Shah.
Indian crypto exchanges under investigation
According to an Economics Times report, three digital asset management companies have come under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate. The allegation is that the exchanges facilitate illegal drug transactions worth ₹28,000 crores (over $3 Billion).
“Digital currency was used to buy and sell drugs and some of these companies facilitated it,” a senior government official told ET. He also added, “So far the agency has been able to track transactions worth ₹28,000 crore.” The official has not revealed the name of the companies.
Amit Shah: Spike in Drug Smuggling through Crypto
According to a June 2022 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), over 7% of the Indian population owns cryptocurrencies. Though most of them own for investment purposes, there are cases of illegitimate use of cryptocurrencies.
Earlier this month, The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized drugs worth ₹2.36 crores (over $250,000) in Mumbai. The drug dealers placed orders using the darknet and cryptocurrencies.
Last month, The Hyderabad Narcotic Enforcement Wing busted a gang involved in drug smuggling through crypto. They were also operating through the darknet and cryptocurrencies. One of the gang members made transactions worth ₹30 lakh or nearly $36,000 through crypto. Furthermore, he has 450 customers across India.
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