For a while now, there has been a rise in scams in India related to cryptocurrencies and in the past twelve months, umpteen number of cases have been reported. To fight this rising online crime, the Indian Government has decided to train its police officers. As per the notification on the website of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, they plan to conduct a two-day course titled “Investigation of cases involving cryptocurrencies.”
As per the post, the course will be held in Hyderabad on 5th and 6th of September, 2019. IPS officers of ranks Additional Superintendent of Police to Inspector General are eligible for this course. As revealed further by the notification, the objective of the course will comprise of “introduction to the functioning of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology and legal aspects of cryptocurrencies.” It also includes “crimes committed using cryptocurrencies and investigation of cases involving cryptocurrencies.”
The National Police Academy trains candidates who are selected through the All India Civil Services Examination for the Indian Police Service. The trained officers will receive the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police in their respective states and under them, the other sub-ranks of the police force will be working. The recruitment of these sub-ranks is done by the respective State Director Generals of Police. The Home Ministry of the Indian Government controls the IPS cadre and an officer of this service can be appointed or removed only if an order is issued by the President of India.
The academy has started accepting nominations for this course and self-nominations will not be accepted. In February this year, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a National Cyber Forensics Lab. This lab included a Crypto Forensics Lab and it was named the ‘Cyber Protection Awareness and Detection Center (Cypad)’ by the cybercrime unit of the Delhi police. In the words of Amulya Patnaik, Delhi Police Commissioner, “It is the first cybercrime awareness and detection center opened in the country. We are now equipped with technology to recover data from damaged hard disks, cryptocurrency analysis, malware forensic and data can be retrieved from 33,000 kinds of mobile models available in the market.”
Though cryptocurrencies remain officially illegal in India as directed by the Reserve Bank of India, many scams have been unearthed and many crypto-related schemes were busted. The Indian Government has regularly uncovered scams related to digital coins. Some of the crypto-related cases are:
- Times of India report on July 5 regarding the crypto scam from Surat, which was registered by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). According to the CID officials, the accused had launched the ‘KBC Coin’ using which they have lured investors into investing. But since the value of the KBC Coin didn’t increase for more than six months, the promoters have now gone underground.
- On July 3, a private bank manager was arrested for being allegedly involved in several financial frauds.
- As reported by the Times of India on June 26, the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad “unearthed a major Bitcoin scam” after four members of a gang conned many people offering hefty returns.
The Indian Government is moving towards deliberating on a proposed regulatory framework for cryptocurrency which is drafted by the Interministerial committee headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, the Finance Secretary and Secretary of Economic Affairs. This cryptocurrency course for police officials aims to make them more adept at investigating and solving cryptocurrency scams.