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India’s Narcotics Bureau Hiring Experts to Track Crypto Transactions

NCB is creating a specialized team to check drug crimes committed using crypto.

India’s premier drug law enforcement body, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), is going to hire forensic experts and companies to help it investigate complex drug crimes that involve the use of the dark web, cryptocurrencies and deals concealed through multi-layered transactions.

A report by The Print from Wednesday, which sourced the information from Press Trust of India (PTI), states that the consultancy agencies, for which the NCB has issued a notice for hiring, will help NCB in “unearthing the chain of transactions for drug money and provide effective guidance in financial investigation matters.”

Further, they will help NCB in analysing financial statements and other data available with NCB and other agencies.

These experts will also assist investigators “prepare statements of income and expenditure of the interested party and related parties to unearth the ill-gotten money”. Along with that, they will aid NCB in conducting forensic audits, scrutiny of reports and documents and analysing bank statements, and property transactions to uncover the trail of the illegal funds of an accused.

The hired experts will be initially drafted to the zonal offices located in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Guwahati.

NCB has observed that the use of the dark web, crypto and multiple payments gateways and channels for narcotic deals has increased for committing drug-related crimes.

That’s why it is imperative for NCB to boost its capabilities by acquiring “specialised and not generalised” talent, a senior officer said. The officer also revealed that the agency is on its toes and is aggressively conducting ‘cyber patrolling’ to check these crimes.

“We are also going to have a fully equipped cyber wing soon. This financial probe wing, drawn from empanelled private experts, would assist the agency to enhance its investigation quality,” he said.

Globally, Governments are collaborating with crypto and cyber intelligence companies to crack down on crypto-related crimes. Crypto is currently unregulated in India. There is no procedure or system in place for investigation of crypto crimes whose brunt is borne by the victims.

Indian authorities need to upskill the talent and create specialized departments for crypto law enforcement. NCB’s initiative is a significant step in this regard.

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