Concerns arise in India as a Parliamentary Panel requests a new Cyber Crime Unit to counteract Cryptocurrency and Daknet Drug activities
Parliament Panel Sets Up Cyber Wing: Darknet Drug Trafficking
Over the last year, the Indian Parliament panel has struck down on the uses of cryptocurrencies as they attempt to regulate decentralized coins. They have now put in a new request that the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Intelligence Fusion Centre set up a new Cyber wing and work against Darknet related crimes and the use of cryptocurrencies to pay for counterfeit drugs.
In a report from the Parliament committee, they explain their awareness of the darknet and how they plan on counteracting its issues. “Darknet markets are e-commerce sites designed to lie beyond the reach of regular search engines.” explains the committee head MP Anand Sharma, “They are popular for illicit transaction and trade, as buyers and sellers are largely untraceable.”
Sharma further explained that “The Committee notes the steps taken by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at national as well as international front to contain drug trafficking in the country. The Committee expresses its concern about the increasing use of cryptocurrencies and the darknet for drug trafficking. Further, technology is being leveraged by drug traffickers to maintain anonymity, making it difficult to track the movement of drugs,”
Currently, there is no ban or regulations on the use of cryptocurrencies in India.
The move to make the decision of creating the Cyber Wing follows shortly after the US created their own National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) in October. A team made to specifically “tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, particularly crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors” According to US President Joe Biden
Surveillance Over Narcottics
The report is clear that the primary directive for creating the Cyber Wing is specific to prevent drug trafficking. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) makes every attempt to fight against drug-related crimes in the country, however, the use of tools such as the darknet and cryptocurrencies make this difficult due to their anonymity.
With this in mind, the NCB has pushed Parliament to speed up the process of creating the Cyber Wing with an Intelligence Fusion Center. Their claim is that this will be an effective method to detect and investigate more drug trafficking through the darknet and cryptocurrencies.
Home Affairs Pushes For The Ban Of Cryptocurrency
The Ministry of Home Affairs in India has pushed the Parliament Panel to ban private cryptocurrencies. The Parliament is looking to restructure and expand the NCB already and has created a bill that is being processed already.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill is currently processing, and the government is looking to officially put the bill in play in the Winter Session of Parliament. The move has concerned many Indian cryptocurrency lovers, one of them claimed that the bill would “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”.
The effect of the bill coming into place send certain markets into turmoil as India has one of the largest cryptocurrency investing userbase worldwide. With over 20 million people in the country making investments in the coins.
Since the currency has no regulations in the country, cryptocurrencies allow for easy methods to avoid tax, money laundering, drug trafficking, and other crimes against the state. It is no surprise that the Cyber Wing was made and the cryptocurrency regulations are likely to come into play.