ED attaches Rs 907 cr assets of crypto exchanges under PMLA
The Enforcement Directorate has attached proceeds of crime worth Rs 907 crore and arrested three persons in cases related to money laundering by crypto exchanges, Parliament was informed on Monday.
Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said Central GST officers have detected Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion worth Rs 87.60 crore by 12 crypto exchanges. Recovery of Rs 110.97 crore, including interest and penalty, has been made. The minister said further investigation is under process in eight cases and four cases are closed on payment of tax along with interest and penalty.
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Further, in case of crypto exchange Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd, known as WazirX, assets worth Rs 289.68 crore have been seized from the exchange and its Directors for violation of the provisions of the foreign exchange management act (FEMA), Chaudhary said. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the minister said the Directorate of Enforcement is investigating several cases related to crypto frauds wherein a few crypto exchanges have also been found involved in money laundering.
“As on December 14, 2022, proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 907.48 crore have been attached/seized, three persons have been arrested and four prosecution complaints have been filed before the Special Court, PMLA, in these cases,” Chaudhary said. Currently, crypto assets are unregulated in India. “Crypto assets by definition are borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. Therefore, any legislation for regulation or for banning can be effective only with significant international collaboration on evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards,” Chaudhary added.
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