Currencies

How India, US teamed up to uncover Rs 3,000 crore scam involving crypto currencies

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) collaborated with US authorities to conduct a search operation in Uttarakhand to uncover a Rs 3,000 crore scam involving digital currencies, reports said. The teams from the ED and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also arrested a man on suspicion of involvement in an international drug trafficking ring.

Citing sources, a report in The Economic Times said that the ED initiated its investigation in August 2023 and last week, acted on a tip by the US authorities about two Indian individuals allegedly involved in a drug trafficking operation.

On April 27, the ED arrested Parvinder Singh and Banmeet Singh from Haldwani, Uttarakhand, following raids conducted a day earlier.

How group used the dark web to sell drugs
According to the report, the group allegedly used dark web vendor marketplaces and freely available online advertisements to facilitate drug sales. As per the investigators, the organisation established a network of distributors and distribution cells. The transactions reportedly involved cryptocurrency payments for drugs, followed by laundering those funds through cryptocurrency wallets.

The individuals reportedly used common aliases on various dark web marketplaces, including Silk Road 1, AlphaBay, and Hansa.

A separate report claimed that the US FBI has already seized Rs 1,500 crore worth of digital currency assets linked to this operation. Furthermore, the ED has recovered important documents about the case and shared them with the FBI.

The agency also carried out an operation at Parvinder’s residence in Haldwani to search for electronic devices used by him such as computers, tablets, or smartphones to carry out the alleged crimes.

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