Bitcoin

Mumbai NCB arrests 2 for using Bitcoin to buy cannabis on the Darknet

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The Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested two people from Rajasthan and Gujarat who were reportedly part of a major drug smuggling syndicate that used Bitcoins to buy drugs off the Darknet.

Bitcoins are considered the costliest cryptocurrency and are valued at approximately Rs 5 lakh per unit.

The accused have been identified as Divyansh Gautam, a resident of Jaipur, and Hitesh Patel.

According to NCB officials, they uncovered the racket while probing the seizure of 224 grams of what is purported to be cannabis by a courier company at the airport. During interrogation, the woman who was supposed to pick up the consignment gave the sleuths a lead on Patel. She told them that she was to deliver the package to him.

When questioned, Patel allegedly admitted that he has so far imported four consignments in the country containing 2 kilograms of cannabis.

Further investigations led the cops to Gautam and their modus operandi.

Gautam allegedly confessed that he arranged finances and facilitated the KYC for shipments.

Officials said the accused identified lapses in courier and speed-post systems, used fake KYCs and often gave addresses of closed shops and residences for deliveries.

He was then placed under arrest on Tuesday as he was the mastermind behind such a unique way of peddling as well as smuggling the cannabis. Initially, he was allegedly involved in supplying drugs to students in a Gujarat-based petroleum university in the past.

“Divyansh would facilitate the currency conversion from rupees to Bitcoins and made invoices for imported cannabis. This syndicate deals in high-quantity cannabis. The trade is dealt in such a manner through cryptocurrency and online orders that there is little trace of evidence. Though the current seizure is less, at least 30 such shipments have landed in the country in the past in a similar pattern,” added an official.

“They place bulk orders and split them into smaller shipments due to which the individual seizure quantities are small. We are on the lookout for more accused in the case. They deal in high quality and and quantity cannabis and has international connections,” he said.


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