The Narcotics Control Bureau has unearthed two syndicates facilitating illegal drug trade in India via 'darknet'. The cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was used for the transactions.
"For the first time, we have unearthed drug traffickers using the darknet and Bitcoin for running the illegal drug racket in India. Some of these operatives are based in the country. We are probing them," R R Bhatnagar, the Director General of the Bureau told PTI.
The senior official said that the usage of virtual secretive methods in carrying out drug crimes was worrying the law enforcement agency. The agency, he said, is stepping up capabilities to pre-empt the use of virtual methods.
The official also said that the illegal trade of heroin across the border had come down. "Our estimate is that due to an effective clampdown by the agencies tasked to check the drugs menace, there has been a 30 per cent decline in trafficking in Punjab," the DG said.
Darknet comprises parts of internet that cannot be tracked by popular search engines like Google and hence is out of the reach of a majority of internet users. Bitcoin, which can be used for financial transactions to procure illegal drugs online, is a 'digital currency' or crypto currency that does not come under the purview of real time financial transactions.