An Indian man has found himself in trouble with local authorities after they discovered that he had purchased drugs on the Dark Web using Bitcoin. The Times of India reported that the Narcotics Control Bureau had apprehended K Rahman, a 24-year-old man from the Kerala region, after he purchased $27,000 worth of ecstasy pills via the Dark Web.
India’s Growing Crypto Crime Problem
Per the report, Rahman had bought the drugs from Frankfurt towards the end of last month. He had planned to receive the drugs at the Foreign Post Office in Chamarajpet, but the narcotics investigators intercepted the shipment.
After a search, they found that the bag contained 750 grey and brown colored pills. Amit Ghawate, the Bureau’s Bangalore zonal director, led an investigation into the identity of the parcel’s receiver, and they found Rahman after about three weeks of searching.
An investigating officer added, “Rahman had, on previous occasions, ordered the drugs and received them at the city’s FPO before selling them at parties and among youngsters, mostly college students.”
Cryptocurrencies have been associated with criminal activity in the past in India. A report from Cointelegraph states that Indian investors lost up to $500 million to scams both home and abroad between 2017 and 2019. This month, India TV News reported that cybercriminals had developed a fraudulent mobile app that they pushed to high-net-worth crypto enthusiasts. The report explained that the scammers were reaching out to their victims and asking them to download the app, which supposedly was a crypto exchange. The hackers disappear once the user deposits their cryptocurrencies.
Manan Shah, the founder and chief executive of Avalance Global Solutions, confirmed to the news source that an unidentified man had lost about $50,000 via such platform. Another local businessman got scammed out of over $3 million.
In June, New Indian Express reported that local police had identified five individuals connected with a crypto scam that had defrauded investors since 2017. The group had allegedly promised high returns to investors who bought cryptocurrencies from them. They got paid in cheques and cash, but they became evasive once investors pledged their money.
Justifiable Cause for a New Crypto Ban
All of these only serve as a reason for the government to pursue a possible ban on cryptocurrencies — an action that it had now reportedly taken. Despite the Supreme Court reversing a ban on cryptocurrencies from the Reserve Bank earlier this year, it appears that the government is giving it another go, per a report from finance news source Money Control.
Citing a government official, the news source explained that the Reserve Bank had been consulting with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Law and Justice to build a framework for another possible ban. The official explained that this new measure considers legislative action against cryptocurrencies — not just a blanket ban.
Such a measure will make the ban more legally binding. The authorities will reportedly be looking to ratify the law once the Indian parliament resumes late this month or in September.