India Investigates ‘Multiple’ Crypto Money Laundering Cases Seizing Over $115 Million

India’s Enforcement Directorate is investigating “several” crypto cases for money laundering and has so far seized $115.5 million in such crimes, the Ministry of Finance said, the latest in a series of crackdowns by authorities against the burgeoning space that have already begun. shaken by the deteriorating market conditions.

India’s crime control agency has also arrested five individuals for crimes fueled by cryptocurrency and has issued a warning to local exchange WazirX and its directors for crypto transactions in excess of $338 million in the past, the ministry said.

The revelation comes as India moves forward with rules to better scrutinize the activities of cryptocurrency companies, even though New Delhi has so far resisted formulating a blanket law to regulate the virtual digital assets.

Last week, the Ministry of Finance (PDF) said crypto will be governed by anti-money laundering rules in the South Asian market. Under the new change, crypto exchanges, NFT providers and custodial wallet operators will be responsible for monitoring suspicious financial activity.

Companies operating in the crypto space will be required to perform your customer verifications. “Exchanges and wallet providers will be required to implement AML/CFT controls and be licensed or registered and supervised or audited by national authorities,” the Treasury Department said this week.

India has also said during its ongoing G20 presidency that it will prioritize developing a framework for global regulation of unsupported crypto-assets, stablecoins and decentralized finance.

Last year, New Delhi took a strict approach to cryptocurrencies by levying a 30% tax on all winnings and a 1% deduction on every crypto transaction. The relocation of the country, in addition to the downturn in the market, has severely depleted the transactions that local exchanges CoinSwitch Kuber, backed by Sequoia India and Andreessen Horowitz, and CoinDCX, backed by Pantera, are processing in the country.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, told CoinTech last year that the company doesn’t see India as a “very crypto-friendly environment.” He said the company is trying to convey its concerns about local taxation to the local government, but claimed that tax policies typically take a long time to change.

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