Authorities arrest Indian ‘crypto king’ who used bitcoin to buy drugs

Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar, a Mumbai resident known as “crypto king” in India’s underground circuit who allegedly used bitcoin to purchase drugs on the dark web, has been arrested by the country’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Sharing some information on the dealings of the “crypto king,” NCB Mumbai Unit Director Sameer Wankhede said back in November 2020, a team from the bureau seized 20 LSD blocks from Kharodi Village in Malad.

“The seized psychotropic substance was purchased from Europe by using bitcoin by a drug peddler from Mumbai,” said the director adding that the suspect’s modus operandi was to receive cash and provide bitcoins on marginal profits by using his wallet that was “used to purchase drugs from the dark net.”

Indian crypto exchange denies links

Wazirx, the Indian cryptocurrency exchange that was reported to may have been used by the crypto king to facilitate his drug purchases, was quick to wash its own hands and immediately issued a clarificatory statement.

The exchange used Twitter and said, “On June 11, 2021, Wazirx had received an email from the NCB inquiring about the said accused and his trading activity on Wazirx. Upon checking our records, we identified that the accused is not a Wazirx user.”

The company went on to say that they have relayed said information to the bureau to let them know that Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar a.k.a. “crypto king” wasn’t one of its users.

Wazirx assures compliance

After being put into the spotlight in a not-so-good way, Wazirx reiterated that it follows global best practices on Know Your Customer (KYC) and Ant-Money Laundering (AML) compliances.

It also assured the presence of a robust transaction monitoring system on its platform to avoid being used in criminal or illegal activities.

Furthermore, the crypto exchange platform said, “We allow only KYC-verified and white-listed accounts to withdraw funds from our exchange.”


Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube

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