Enforcement Directorate Bitcoin

ED Detains Nainital Individual, Seizes Cryptocurrency Worth Rs 130 Cr At The Request Of US Authorities

Key points from the article:

  • Enforcement Action: The Enforcement Directorate seized cryptocurrency worth over Rs 130 crore linked to drug trafficking.
  • ArrestParvinder Singh was arrested in Uttarakhand for his involvement in an international drug trafficking group.
  • International Operation: The group, known as “Singh DTO,” operated on the dark web and sold drugs primarily in European countries.
  • Cryptocurrency Seizure: Bitcoins equivalent to Rs 130.48 crore were seized, which were proceeds from the illegal drug trade.

The Enforcement Directorate announced on Saturday that it has confiscated cryptocurrency valued at over Rs 130 crore and apprehended an individual based in Uttarakhand in connection with a money laundering investigation linked to drug trafficking, at the behest of US authorities.

Parvinder Singh was apprehended on April 27 from Haldwani in Nainital district following a search of his premises. The agency stated that the accused has agreed to relinquish the profits acquired from the illicit sale of drugs on the dark web, primarily targeting European countries.

The investigation was instigated upon receiving a mutual legal assistance request from US authorities, invoking section 2(ra) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which addresses offenses with cross-border implications related to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Parvinder Singh and his brother, along with others, were operating an international drug trafficking group known as “Singh DTO.” This organization utilized various platforms on the dark web for marketing, alongside free advertisements on the clear web, and a network of distributors to sell drugs primarily in the US, UK, and other European countries.

The “Singh organization” allegedly received proceeds from drug trafficking through sales on dark web markets and subsequently laundered the funds via cryptocurrency transactions. The agency reported seizing Bitcoins equivalent to Rs 130.48 crore during the search operation.

As per the ED, the brothers used the moniker “Liston” on dark web markets such as “Silk Road 1,” “Alpha Bay,” and “Hansa.” These Bitcoins associated with the “Liston” moniker were identified as proceeds from illegal drug sales in various countries. US authorities have already confiscated Bitcoins worth thousands of crores of rupees, the agency added.

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