Amit Shah, India’s Union Home Minister, has expressed concern about the rise in drug smuggling via the dark web using cryptocurrencies.
The Minister made the remarks during a regional summit on drug trafficking and national security held in India on Wednesday.
“The illegal money generated by the drug trade, fuels terrorism,” says Shah. He emphasized the importance of federal and state authorities working together to combat terrorist financing and keep young people safe.
He stated that the key drug smuggling challenges in India include an increase in heroin smuggling via maritime routes from the west coast, the illegal production of drugs such as opium, ganja, and poppy, the use of couriers and packages in drug smuggling, the prevalence of the dark web, and an increase in drug smuggling via cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in India has raised concerns about the involvement of three digital asset management firms in illegal drug transactions totaling Rs 28,000 crore (approximately $3.3 billion), prompting the Investigation Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax Department (I-T Dept) to conduct an investigation.
The FIU has investigated over 200 transactions in Nigeria, the Cayman Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.
The transactions, according to the study, took place through cryptocurrency exchanges in India. The transactions, according to reports, took place between 2019 and 2021.
The news comes after the Hyderabad Narcotics Enforcement Wing, the Indian state of Hyderabad’s drug enforcement agency, detained a number of drug traffickers a few days ago for allegedly conducting business on the Dark Web using cryptocurrency.