According to a statement given by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary in Indian parliament, 12 crypto exchanges in India were involved in GST evasion amounting to Rs 87.60 crore. He reported a recovery of Rs 110.97 with interest and penalties.
Another piece of information was about attachments and seizures from crypto crime proceeds worth Rs 907.48 crore made up to December 14, 2022 with some arrests and prosecutions. These are related to money laundering using crypto exchanges as platforms. While four cases were closed upon payment of tax, interest and penalties, the other eight cases were still open.
A mention was made of WazirX and Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd, from where assets of Rs 289.68 crore were reported to be seized against FEMA violations.
Cryptocurrencies have become an attractive mode for fraudsters given the little knowledge the Indian public has about this new entity in the monetary world, and its huge swings. Given that most investors fall into the trap of huge returns and promises, it is easy to trap virtually anyone with sophisticated promises and mobile apps.
As per a report, many Hyderabad residents have claimed to have lost their investments made via an app. The app was run by a company that claimed to have an office in the UAE. The app required members to login and make investments, and while initially some returns were realized, issues cropped up later. Eventually, investors lost access to the app. As per the report, the investors were a motley group of daily wagers, widows, drivers and pensioners. The report states that the promise was to pay a profit of Rs 1 lakh for an investment of Rs 50,000 after 150 days. The operation was however shut before 50 days were over.
Cryptocurrency is not like official money
At a rally in Azad Maidan, Mumbai, which saw hundreds in attendance, a note of warning was shared about cryptocurrencies. A speaker described cryptocurrencies as bogus, and advised the audience to invest only if the government promised an equal amount in return, as is the case with legal paper currency. A soiled note is also re-claimable from the government due to the promise, but that’s not the case with any cryptocurrency like bitcoin, ether or other thousands of tokens available in crypto exchanges.
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