MHA Body establishes Guidelines for Crypto-related Crimes


Khushi Doshi

Published on: April 3, 2022 at 20:26 IST

For the first time, Ministry of Home Affairs think tank in India has issued a Standard Operating Procedure for Law enforcement Agencies in India on how to Investigate Crypto Crimes and seize and preserve Cryptocurrencies during Investigations.

The guidelines by the Bureau of Police Research Development (BPRD), a think tank under the Home Ministry, stated that Law Enforcement Agencies must have their own Crypto Wallet to store seized Virtual Digital Assets, and they must Liaise with Crypto Exchanges to bBock a suspect’s wallet or resetting the keys to defuse Transactions in an ongoing Investigation.

Investigators working on Cryptocurrency-related Cyber Crimes have been instructed to meticulously Document the scene during the process of opening a Crypto Wallet so that the Evidence can be preserved and used in a Court of Law.

There are currently no National Guidelines on Cryptocurrency-related Cases, which causes enforcement agencies to struggle, particularly in seizure and tracing suspects.

Although the Central Government has begun Taxing earnings from Crypto Transactions at a 30% rate, the Country has yet to regulate Cryptocurrencies, and Investigations in such Cases are conducted in accordance with existing Cyber Laws.

According to a January 6 Wall Street Journal report, Illicit Cryptocurrency Transactions were estimated to be $14 Billion in 2021, up 79 percent from $7.8 Billion the previous year.

For Online wallets, thirdparty assistance in Freezing Accounts and assisting in the seizure of Funds left online can be obtained.

‘Police can do so using the same method used to Freeze Traditional Bank Accounts,’ the Standard Operating Procedures stated.

‘However, the Warrant must be directed at the Online Wallet Operator.’

While seizing Cryptocurrencies, Law Enforcement Officers have been instructed to

meticulously document the scene.

Also Read: SC asks Centre to Clear its Stand on Cryptocurrency

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