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Digital currency to abet money laundering: Report

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The growing use of digital currency will result in rise in cyber laundering as hacking attacks and online scams take centre stage on Internet, says a latest report.

It said the Indian banks and authorities may wary as money laundering using online black-marketing route and other techniques will expand with the use of digital currency.


"This new techniques of money laundering (using digital currency) includes opening accounts with low cost and little known payment gateways, buying digital currencies, purchasing stolen data, setting up online shops with payment gateways, using the bank accounts of money mules to transfer so earned money to different countries," said the report by Pune-based 'Indiaforensic'.

The firm, which conducts examination and forensic accounting among others, has helped the country's investigating agencies like in several high-profile cases including multi-crore Satyam scam.

Digital currency is the alternative to the traditional currency, which is used in online transactions. It is very similar to the operations of the loyalty points.

The report -- 'Laundering in Cyber World- The Digital Currency Way' -- cited a recent case in the US involving 'Liberty Reserve' -- a digital currency website which was used for laundering at least USD 6 billion by data thieves, drug dealers, child pornographers, identity thieves, hackers and other criminals.

"Traditional money laundering has often been a secondary process - preceded by an illegal activity, such as drug trafficking but the liberty reserve case shows that data thefts, hacking attacks and online scams are replacing the traditional crimes and the digital currency is now at the centre of the laundering operations," said Mayur Joshi, head of Indiaforensic.

According to the research conducted by Indiaforensic in 2011, the estimated size of money laundering in India was Rs 18.86 lakh crore for the 2000-2010.

"Now the money laundering is expected to grow even faster with the digital currencies," it said.

First Published: Sun, July 21 2013. 12:40 IST
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