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Officers get a lesson on cryptocurrency, but doubts remain

Pankajj Ghode, chairman of NGO Global BlockChain Foundation who conducted the session, said, “We discussed several cases across the country. I explained the basics of cryptocurrency and what officers should do when they get cases related to it.”

Written by Alok Singh | New Delhi | Published: February 14, 2018 1:59 am
The Delhi Police Crime Branch has worked out three cheating cases involving cryptocurrency.

With numerous cheating cases related to cryptocurrency being reported in the capital, the Delhi Police held a session on the digital currency for its officers on Tuesday. Senior officers — including special commissioners, joint commissioners and DCPs — attended the two-hour class at the Police Headquarters and were taught about the evolving threat of cryptocurrencies in India. Some officers, however, said it was a “complex subject” and that they needed more sessions to understand it.

In the past few months, the Delhi Police Crime Branch has worked out three cheating cases involving cryptocurrency. In one such case last week, two men were arrested for allegedly setting up a multi-level marketing racket and selling two cryptocurrencies, RHF coin and RHF Gold, after claiming that they were associated with Russia’s premier petroleum company, Rosneft.

A JCP who attended the class told The Indian Express, “We were told about the invention of cryptocurrency, its regulation in other countries and the types of fraud involving it. But there was no session on investigation.” A DCP-level officer said: “It’s a complex subject. It requires technical expertise. We need more such classes to understand it and act accordingly.”

Pankajj Ghode, chairman of NGO Global BlockChain Foundation who conducted the session, said, “We discussed several cases across the country. I explained the basics of cryptocurrency and what officers should do when they get cases related to it.”

Cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate generation of units of currency and verify transfer of funds. Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency legalised in countries such as Canada, Europe, Singapore, Japan, US, Brazil and Israel. It is not legal tender and is subject to tax. In February last year, the RBI had cautioned against cryptocurrencies, stating that “any user, holder, investor or trader dealing with virtual currency is doing it at their own risk”.

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