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Black money SIT reviews use of cryptocurrencies; directs clampdown

The RBI had come out with three specific warnings to discourage the public from investing in the virtual currencies

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on has asked probe agencies to check and curb the use of as it reviewed their operation and circulation in the country and links to shady offshore transactions.

Officials said the SIT recently held a meeting in the national capital during which it was briefed about the overall scenario of the operations of this in the country.

The SIT, official sources said, called cryprocurrencies like "illegal" and asked probe agencies such as the Income Tax Department, the (ED) and the (NCB) to detect and stop their usage and check transactions being done over the Internet, including those with cross-border ramifications.

The panel, they said, would also prepare a report that would be submitted to the government in sometime.

"The government is the final authority to frame rules and law to regulate these virtual currencies and the SIT would provide its report to it on the subject," a senior official said.

During the meeting, the NCB informed the SIT that about four cryptocurrency-fuelled transactions have been unearthed in the country in the last over two years time while the tax department informed the panel about the searches it conducted on bitcoin exchanges across the country last year.

A report prepared by the banking regulator - the (RBI) - was also taken up during the meeting, they said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his speech on February 1, had said that were not legal and affirmed to eliminate their usage.

The RBI, in the past, has come out with three specific warnings to discourage the public from investing in the virtual currencies.

A government-appointed panel constituted to study the subject and suggest measures to tackle it had submitted its report to the Union Finance Ministry early this year.

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT on was notified by the government in 2014 and is headed by Justice (retd) M B Shah and has multiple central probe, enforcement and regulatory agencies as its member.

First Published: Mon, April 09 2018. 00:06 IST