On March 14, the opposition party in Parliament questioned “if the government has decided to establish a regulatory authority for cryptocurrency investment?” Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State for Finance, answered the question by stating that the central government had not approved the establishment of a regulatory authority for cryptocurrency investment in India.
In response to the question of whether the government is enacting any policy to combat misleading cryptocurrency advertisements, Chaudhary stated that the Modi government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been cautioning users, holders, and traders of cryptocurrency, from time to time, about the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, consumer protection, and security-related risks associated with dealing with cryptocurrency.
Chaudhary also gave his answers to queries related to the use of crypto assets in money laundering activities, stating that complaints from law enforcement agencies (LEAs) had been received regarding the use of cryptocurrencies by cyber criminals. The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is examining seven cases under the Money Laundering Act of 2002 in which cryptocurrency was used for money laundering. Cases probed by the ED under the PMLA indicate that the accused laundered proceeds of crime (PoC) using bitcoin, he stated.
According to the government, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has so far attached profits of crime totaling Rs 135 crore under the PMLA. So far, ED investigations show that some foreign nationals and their Indian accomplices have laundered the PoC through cryptocurrency accounts at some exchange platforms, Chaudhary remarked.
In one such case, an accused was detained by the ED in 2020 for assisting foreign-related accused firms in laundering the PoC by changing money obtained from crime into cryptocurrency and then transferring it to other nations. A Prosecution Complaint has been filed before the Special Court, PMLA. So far, the ED has attached PoC totaling about Rs. 135 crore (approx.) under the PMLA in the aforementioned cases, he added.