The Pune City police are facing a major challenge in their attempt to seize a large amount of BTC confiscated as part of a Ponzi scheme – the law. According to law enforcement officials, 244 units of BTC, worth $1.2 million, was seized, but Pune law enforcement officials are unable to take possession of the coins because they have been barred from doing so by an anti-cryptocurrency law.
It began when law enforcement officials in the city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra apprehended the currency from Akash Kantilal Sancheti, who was implicated in the notorious Gainbitcon Ponzi scheme.
To gain control of the currency, the Pune police hired Discidium Internet Labs Private Ltd to process and sell the currency for the police department. The currency was to be deposited into the company’s account, but the amount was immediately frozen because of digital currency policies.
According to Jairam Paygude, a senior inspector in the cyber Police Department, the Central Bank of India was unable to process the transaction because the reserve Bank of India (RBI) suspended the account of Discidium.
Oddly enough, Indian law bars the transfer of cryptocurrencies. According to the draft law Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019, a 10-year prison term can be imposed on anyone who “mines, generates, holds, sells, transfers disposes of, issues or deals in cryptocurrencies.” Apparently, this applies to law enforcement officials and anyone assisting them as well.
This law has helped to force many exchange businesses within the country to leave India because of its strict enforcement. Explained Rahul Jain, a former employee at Bitbns, “As a startup from India, we always wanted to serve from India, but this recent complication has made it difficult for domestic crypto exchanges to operate their businesses in India. So, we are now an Estonia-based company, and any Indian law to criminalize crypto will not impact us.”
It is now law enforcement officials who find themselves unable to acquire this currency. They are currently petitioning the court asking that a judge allow them to move this BTC into the Discidium account so that the currency can be transferred into Indian rupees.
It is hoped that because the bill is currently in the draft stage and has not been properly reviewed by the Supreme Court, that the lower court will decide to allow the currency to be transferred and sold. No word has been provided as to how the court is leaning at this time.
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