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India’s ‘crypto king’ arrested in Mumbai over bitcoin-linked drug bust.. details here

Adivirkar used to convert one’s cash in Bitcoin by taking commission and then helped them purchase banned drugs like LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs from the dark web, said NCB Mumbai officials. He allegedly used to buy these drugs from Europe and other parts of the world through Bitcoin.

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New Delhi: Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar, apparently known in India’s underground drug market as the “crypto king” has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for allegedly facilitating the purchasing of drugs in Bitcoin.

Adivirkar earned the “crypto king” tag as he relied mostly on cryptocurrency for his drug dealing with consumers, to escape from police lens.

Adivirkar used to convert one’s cash in Bitcoin by taking commission and then helped them purchase banned drugs like LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs from the dark web, said NCB Mumbai officials. He allegedly used to buy these drugs from Europe and other parts of the world through Bitcoin.

Crypto king’s modus operandi

The nation’s ‘crypto king’ had created a system and used it extensively to book profits until his illegal practices were busted by Mumbai cops this week.

According to NCB officials, drug dealers would pay Adivirkar in cash, after which the latter would allegedly use Bitcoin to score drugs from the dark web on their behalf. He would also take a cash commission for this.

“The dealer would transfer the amount to a friend’s bank account, and the friend would transfer it to a third person, who would withdraw cash and give it to Adivirkar” Sameer Wankhede, the NCB zonal director told VICE.

“Then Adivirkar used his Bitcoin wallets to pay drug vendors in Poland and other European countries through the dark web,” it said.

On the dark web, drug users transfer their payment in cryptocurrency and then receive the substances through postal services.

No links ‘crypto king’, clarifies WazirX

After his arrest, India’s largest crypto exchange WazirX also clarified that Makarand Adivirkar accused of using Bitcoins to buy drugs on the dark web — is not a WazirX user and that the same had been communicated to the probe agency last week.

The exchange’s statement came after reports suggested that Makarand may have been leveraging platforms like WazirX to buy drugs using bitcoin.

“On 11th June 2021, WazirX had received an email from the NCB enquiring about the said accused and his trading activity on WazirX. Upon checking our records, we identified that the accused is not a WazirX user, and we communicated the same to the authorities on 12th June 2021,” WazirX said in a statement.

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