Crypto Assets are borderless, require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage
Under PMLA, Rs. 936 crore related to crypto currency is attached/seized/freezed by ED as on 31.01.2023
Posted Date:- Feb 06, 2023
Crypto Assets are by definition borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Finance, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
Therefore, the Minister stated, any legislation for regulation or for banning can be effective only with significant international collaboration on evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards.
The Minister stated that the Directorate of Enforcement is investigating several cases related to crypto currency frauds wherein a few crypto exchanges have also been found involved in money laundering. Necessary action as per provisions of Prevention of Monyt Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) has been taken by the Directorate of Enforcement. As on 31.01.2023, proceeds of crime amounting to Rs. 936 crore have been attached/seized/freezed, 05 persons have been arrested and 06 prosecution complaints (PCs) including 01 supplementary PC have been filed before the Special Court, PMLA in these cases.
Further, the Minister stated, under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) assets amounting to Rs. 289.28 crore have been seized under section 37A of FEMA and 01 Show Cause Notice to cryptocurrency exchange Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd, known as WazirX and its directors under FEMA for transactions involving cryptocurrencies work Rs. 2,790 crore has also been issued.
Giving more information, the Minister staetd that RBI has been cautioning users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) vide public notices on December 24, 2013, February 01, 2017 and December 05, 2017 that dealing in VCs is associated with potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks. RBI, vide its circular dated May 31, 2021 has also advised its regulated entities to continue to carry out customer due diligence processes for transactions in VCs, in line with regulations governing standards for Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti- Money Laundering (AML), Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT), obligations under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, etc. in addition to ensuring compliance with relevant provisions under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for overseas remittances.
Various steps taken by Government since 2014 helped keep economy and people afloat in difficult times: Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
Government’s targeted approach during Pandemic helped to deliver assistance to citizens: FM
FM inaugurates Department of Economic Affairs Iconic Day celebrations today; launches ‘NETRA Portal and Mobile Application:
Finance Minister launches DEA’s three short films on Externally Aided Projects, financial literacy and lines of credit to other countries by the Government
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Iconic Day celebrations of the Department of Economic Affairs with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) here today. Along with the Union Finance Minister, Shri Ajay Seth, Secretary, D/o Economic Affairs; Dr. Anantha V. Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance and Shri S.K. Mohanty, Whole Time Member, SEBI also participated. The occasion also saw participation from key dignitariesand prominent leaders from the world of finance.
In her address, the Finance Minister said that India’s fundamentals are once again sound because of the many steps taken by the Government since 2014. Major steps taken by the Government, before the COVID-9 pandemic hit us, which include reducing the corporate tax, ensuring that the economy is greatly digitised, bringing in the GST and IBC – all of this heavylifting prepared us for the unprecedented situation of the Pandemic, she said.
Smt. Sitharaman emphasised that when Government looks at targeted approach of providing assistance and takes the input from the ground and does so quickly, in time and in an open fashion, the impact is for all to see. In this context she cited a study on Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) which brought out that the probability of people cutting down consumption utilities has come down by 75% across the country. The study has also shown that the PMGKY reduced the probability of borrowing money by 67% of all respondents.
Citing another study on the Emergency Credit Liquidity Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), the Finance Minister stated that as of March 2022 loans sanctioned under this scheme have crossed Rs 3.19 lakh crore and the scope of ECLGS has now been extended till 2023. The study says that this handholding has kept many people afloat during the Pandemic.
The third study highlighted by the Finance Minister was on the Ayushman Bharat scheme wherein the implementation of this scheme has been associated with a 21% decline in out of pocket health expenditure and 8% reduction in the tendency to borrow for emergency health purposes.
The Finance Minister underlined that the Department of Economic Affairs has channelised external aid towards every region of the country, with the support of multiple multilateral institutions. India very smartly raised funds and distributed them not only for infrastructure building but also for livelihood prospects in each region. Smt. Sitharaman also appreciated the DEA’s efforts through the IDEAS project that spans across so many countries and making a difference to livelihood environment, especially for most of Africa and also for the Island countries.
In his address during the AKAM celebrations, Chief Economic Advisor Dr Anantha V. Nageswaran said that the structural reforms of this Government, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) will manifest their advantages and potential in the coming decade, once the current clouds of global political developments and macro monetary policy challenges dissipate. The CEA underlined that for these reasons India is forecasted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cross $5 trillion by 2026-27 and if GDP of the country doubles every 7 years, we will be $20 trillion GDP by 2040 with the per capita income close to $15,000.
Dr Nageswaran stated that India is better-positioned than many other countries in facing the current challenges. He indicated that we face challenges of managing a sustainably high growth rate, moderate inflation, keeping the fiscal under balance and also ensuring that the external value of the rupee remains stable. The CEA stated that the Government is prepared to meet the challenges of balancing these core important considerations.
Smt. Sitharaman launched ‘NETRA (New e-Tracking and Remote Administration)’ Portal and Mobile Application for Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS).
NSDL’s outreach initiative ‘Market Ka Eklavya – Express’, a programme specially designed to introduce students to the basics of investing and financial markets was screened during the event.
Market Ka Eklavya – Express’:
‘Market Ka Eklavya – Express’ lays the foundation of the twin pillars of Financial Independence, namely, Financial Awareness and Financial Discipline in a simple language using relatable examples from everyday life to explain complex concepts. As a part of the AKAM celebrations, NSDL has recently launched the programme in 8 languages to reach 75 cities to commemorate 75 years of independence.
The Finance Minister also released a short film ‘Sahyog se Samriddhi’ on Externally Aided Projects during the Iconic Week celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. The film showcased the role of Externally Aided Projects in India’s development trajectory since 1947, with a special emphasis on India’s engagement with multilateral and bilateral agencies in last 8 years.
‘Sahyog se Samriddhi’:
Smt. Sitharaman also inaugurated a film on the lines of credit called “IDEAS – India Partnering in Global Growth”. This film showcased India’s recognition as a trusted development partner for the developing economies. The Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) has played a key role in the socio-economic development in the partner countries. The film features key marquee projects financed by Exim Bank of India under the GoI Lines of Credit in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and the CIS region.
“IDEAS – India Partnering in Global Growth”:
During the morning session, engaging discussions on ‘Emergence of women investors in securities market’ and ‘Growth of Indian retail investors’ during the symposium on ‘Jaagruk Niveshak: Samridha Bharat ki Neev’ organised by SEBI in collaboration with Department of Economic Affairs took place. The idea of an enlightened investor empowered to make informed financial choices was central to the discussions. The symposium also explore the exciting possibilities presented by the encouraging trend of increasing participation of women in financial markets.
Watch live streaming:
Ministry of Finance Press Release Id :-1832085, 08th March 2022
ED has provisionally attached bank accounts of Popular Front of India and Rehab India Foundation having collective balance of Rs. 68,62,081 under PMLA, 2002. 01 Jun ,2022
ED has conducted searches under PMLA, 2002 at the residential and official premises of Subhra Jyoti Bharali, the then Managing Director of Industrial Co-operative Bank Limited (ICBL), under PMLA, 2002 in connection with misappropriation of bank funds of Rs. 9.5 Crore. 01 Jun ,2022
ED has provisionally attached assets worth Rs.1.91 Crore of Sanjeev Kumar, Puja Shrivastav and others under PMLA, 2002 in a fake degree certificate case of “Techno Global University, Shillong, 01 June 2022
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA) provide that the Special Court trying the offence may restore any property/assets involved in money laundering to a third party claimant with legitimate interest, including banks. This was stated by Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister stated that in the cases pertaining to Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who have defrauded Public Sector banks by siphoning off the funds through their companies which resulted in total loss of Rs. 22,585.83 crore to the public sector banks.
Giving more details, the Minister stated that as on 15.03.2022, assets worth Rs. 19,111.20 crore have been attached under the provisions of PMLA. Out of which, assets worth Rs. 15,113.91 crores has been restituted to the Public Sector Banks. In addition, assets worth Rs 335.06 crore have been confiscated to Government of India.
The Minister further stated that as on 15.03.2022, 84.61% of the total defrauded funds in these cases have been attached/seized and 66.91% of total loss to the banks has been handed over to Banks/Confiscated to Government of India. It is pertinent to mention here that as on 15.03.2022, the consortium of banks led by SBI has realized Rs. 7,975.27 crore by sale of assets handed over to them by the Directorate of Enforcement, the Minister added.
Section 13 in The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002
13. Powers of Director to impose fine.—
(1) The Director may, either of his own motion or on an application made by any authority, officer or person, call for records referred to in sub-section (1) of section 12 and may make such inquiry or cause such inquiry to be made, as he thinks fit.
(2) If the Director, in the course of any inquiry, finds that a banking company, financial institution or an intermediary or any of its officers has failed to comply with the provisions contained in section 12, then, without prejudice to any other action that may be taken under any other provisions of this Act, he may, by an order, levy a fine on such banking company or financial institution or intermediary which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but may extend to one lakh rupees for each failure.