The Enforcement Directorate is investigating seven cases where cryptocurrency has been used for money laundering and has so far seized crime proceeds worth Rs 135 crore, parliament was informed on Monday.
Law enforcement agencies have flagged the use of cryptocurrency by cybercriminals and cases investigated by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) reveal that the suspects laundered the proceeds of crime through the virtual currency, Finance Minister Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
“Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is investigating 07 cases under PMLA, 2002, in which cryptocurrency has been used for money laundering,” he said.
So far, in these cases, the ED has attached a PoC of Rs 135 crore under the PMLA, the minister added.
When asked whether the government has identified people involved in such activities in the country, Chaudhary said investigations conducted so far by the ED have revealed that some foreigners and their Indian associates have laundered the PoC through cryptocurrency scams. accounts on certain exchange platforms.
In one of the cases, in 2020, a suspect was arrested by the ED for helping the foreign-related accused companies to launder the PoC by converting money generated from crime into cryptocurrency and then transferring it to the abroad. In this case, a complaint has been filed with the PMLA Special Court.