The cybercrime cell of Pune Police in India has arrested two crypto experts who allegedly siphoned off wallets under investigation by the authorities.
According to local media reports, the accused cyber-crime experts, Pankaj Ghode and Rabindranath Patil may have embezzled large amounts of cryptocurrency from a bitcoin Ponzi scheme carried out in 2018.
Investigators accused of crypto theft
Two experts, one of whom was a former Indian Police Service officer, were reportedly assisting the Pune Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the investigation since last year. According to the report the team confiscated 241.46 bitcoins, 452 bitcoin cash and 94 ethereum.
However, he has now been accused of diverting millions of crypto funds from the wallets of the accused in the case to personal accounts. The report states that 237 bitcoins have been traced to the fund so far.
In total, police have reportedly seized more than $770,000 in 34 different cryptocurrencies as they investigate an alleged discrepancy of 900 bitcoins.
That said, the former officers will be tried for various offenses and are currently in judicial custody. And, a 4,400-page chargesheet has been filed against the accused crypto experts.
Securities regulator raises new concern
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently replied to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on the status of crypto regulation in India. “As crypto assets are held in decentralized distributed ledgers, which are contained in computer nodes spread across the globe, there is a great potential for the execution of unauthorized trades that do not conform to any regulatory framework,” the agency said.
The regulator also pushed for an investigative authority, noting that “with the spread of opportunity to deal with crypto assets, unregulated activities relating to crypto assets can be entrusted to an investigative authority appointed by the government and take further legal action.” Is.”
In the past, SEBI recommended that celebrities should refrain from backing crypto assets to protect investors.
This time around, the watchdog insisted on more regulations, saying, “Digital currency acts as a bridge between fiat currency of foreign jurisdictions and the Indian rupee. One of the aims of bringing crypto trading platforms under regulatory ambit is AML/CIL. Providing CFT/KYC reporting can be ensured by registration of entities as money changers, authorized dealers or forex dealers.
Meanwhile, the central bank, which has maintained a negative view about crypto from the beginning, is waiting for the government to release its crypto advisory paper.
RBI waiting for crypto paper
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday, “There is a constant engagement between the RBI and the government on cryptocurrencies. We have given our views to the government. Let us wait for the consultation paper to arrive.”
Last month, Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth revealed that the Indian government has ended its consultation paper on cryptocurrency. But before the government could even unveil the paper, the country’s central bank indicated it was unlikely to change its negative stance on virtual digital assets (VDAs). Not too long ago, the RBI warned a parliamentary panel that crypto, especially stablecoins, could lead to a “dollarisation” of the economy.
At the same time, RBI Deputy Governor T Ravi Shankar once again confirmed that the centrally backed digital currency will be launched in 2022 in a ‘gradual and phased manner’.
Earlier, the central bank had stated in its plan that the Indian CBDC would go through proof of concept and pilot phases before being fully launched within the country.