Indian Authority Uncovers Large-Scale Crypto and Hawala Operation, Arrests Key Player

Indian Authorities Bust Major Cryptocurrency and Hawala Operation, Detain Key Figure

In a significant operation, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in India has apprehended Manideep Mago for alleged money laundering related to cryptocurrency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) of 2002. The investigation unveiled a case involving illicit foreign remittances, wherein a Delhi-based company traded cryptocurrencies valued at more than Rs. 1858 crore ($223 million) on various crypto exchanges. Additionally, the company was found to have made foreign remittances exceeding Rs. 3500 crore.

The inquiry also revealed the participation of an international Hawala network that utilized fake invoices to transfer funds to Canada and Hong Kong. The syndicate heavily invested in illegal cryptocurrency mining and arbitrage trading. The ED’s probe indicated the involvement of chartered accountants and bank officials in the fraudulent activities. Notably, the perpetrators employed 70,000 random names to create fictitious invoices and forged entries in the tally database to validate cash deposits without disclosing the source of the cryptocurrency.

Manideep Mago has been granted custody to facilitate further questioning, allowing the ED to delve deeper into the case. This ongoing investigation demonstrates the Indian government’s commitment to combatting illicit cryptocurrency activities and their determination to hold those responsible accountable.