Cryptocurrency trading is illegal: CID Trading cryptocurrency not crime: BB
Special Correspondent: The latest stand of two state agencies has created new drama over the transaction of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and some other online currencies. This has confused the traders of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country.
Currency regulatory authority-Bangladesh Bank (BB) said that the Bitcoin trading and handling in Bangladesh is not crime but it is yet to get the nod of BB for transaction in the country. On the other hand, Criminal Investigation Department of Bangladesh Police told that transactions of cryptocurrency in the country are crime and illegal.
Kamrul Ahsan, additional deputy inspector general of CID, said that transactions made through cryptocurrency would violate three laws – the special powers act, the foreign exchange regulation act and anti-corruption laws.
Earlier in May, in a letter sent by the Foreign Monetary Policy Division of Bangladesh Bank to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police, the central bank had said that ownership, protection or transaction of cryptocurrency was not a crime.
The addl IG, however, said the central bank’s letter might not have been interpreted properly.
“Say you buy Bitcoin here. If you keep it stored, then that might not be a problem. But the minute you use it to make a purchase or cash out, then you do so in an unrecognised channel and this is illegal,” Kamrul said.
He also said that once the cryptocurrency was used for any transaction, it would be a violation of the aforementioned laws, adding that using cryptocurrency would be considered money-laundering.
“If you go to Canada and then cash out your Bitcoin there, then there would be no record of it and it would be considered money-laundering,” he said.
Kamrul also brought up a Bangladesh Bank circular from earlier, pointing out that it had warned people to be careful of cryptocurrency.
The central bank had earlier issued a warning on 24 December, 2016 on their website asking people to refrain from trading in artificial currencies (such as Bitcoin).
At that time, it said in a statement that “transactions in virtual currency may violate anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws.”
Referring to the latest letter by the central bank, Kamrul said that even in that letter the bank had specified that trading in cryptocurrency could be a crime.
In the central bank letter, it was mentioned that transactions in virtual currencies can, however, be listed as crimes in the second phase of the Foreign Exchange Control Act 1947, Anti-Terrorism Act 2009 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2012.
Another top CID official, under the condition of anonymity, also said that there was no scope for making transactions using cryptocurrency.
Earlier, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested several gang over alleged transection of cryptocurrency from Dhaka and Gazipur.
According to the CID source, two cases are being investigating in dealing with cryptocurrency. CID already submitted a charge sheet before the court over case in connection with cryptocurrency.
“As we got a proof of transaction during investigation. According to the law, this type of transaction is illegal apparently. So CID submitted the charge sheet against the accused,” said Ibrahim Hossen, inspector of CID.
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