India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested a Mumbai resident known as the “crypto king” who allegedly used bitcoins to purchase narcotics on the dark web. Indian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx says the accused is not among its customers.
‘Crypto King’ arrested in India
India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested Mumbai resident Makarand Pradeep Adivirkar, also known as the “Crypto King” in the country’s underground drug circuit. He allegedly used bitcoin to buy drugs on the dark web that were shipped from Europe to India.
NCB Mumbai unit director Sameer Wankhede told that “In November 2020, a team of NCB Mumbai seized 20 LSD blots from Kharodi village in Malad,” local media reported. The director was further quoted as saying:
The confiscated narcotic was bought from Europe using bitcoin by a Mumbai-based drug peddler.
NCB described, “Their way of working was to obtain cash, and provide bitcoins at a nominal profit using their wallets, which were used to purchase drugs from the darknet.”
Following reports that the crypto king may have used Indian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx to facilitate its drug purchases, the exchange issued a statement clarifying that it is not its user. Wazirx tweeted: “On June 11, 2021, Wazirx received an email from NCB inquiring about the said accused and his business activity on Wazirx. Upon checking our records, we identified that the accused Wazirx The user is not there, and we reported it to the authorities on June 12, 2021.
The exchange continued: “That being said, we would like to reiterate that Wazirx follows global best practices on KYC and AML compliance and has a robust transaction monitoring system. We are committed to allowing customers to transact on Wazirx. We perform stringent KYC verification of each user through linked bank accounts of the users prior to them to verify their identity as well as perform secondary KYC verification.The exchange emphasized:
We only allow KYC-verified and whitelisted accounts to withdraw funds from our exchange.
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