Proceeds of crime over Rs 1000 cr of cyber and Crypto assets frauds attached: Govt in LS

Proceeds of crime of more than Rs 1000 crore related to cyber and crypto assets frauds have been attached or seized under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), the Government informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

New Delhi:  Proceeds of crime of more than Rs 1000 crore related to cyber and crypto assets frauds have been attached or seized under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), the Government informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Besides, estimated GST evasion by such companies was nearly Rs 22,936 crore between April 2019 and November 2022, it added.

Ministry of Finance, in a written reply, said that the Enforcement Directorate is investigating several cases related to cyber and crypto assets frauds wherein online gaming etc. have been used for committing fraud and siphoning of the proceeds generated thereof.

“In these cases, as on December 6, 2022, proceeds of crime of more than Rs.1000 crore have been attached / seized / freezed under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). Also, 10 Prosecution Complaints (PCs) including 02 supplementary PCs have been filed before the Special Court, PMLA,” it said.

Furthermore, it said that in so far as evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is concerned, CBIC formations have initiated investigations against some gaming companies (including Online gaming companies) located in India as well as abroad. The estimated evasion of GST by these companies works out to Rs 22,936 crore, relating to period April 2019 to November 2022.

Minister of state, Ministry of Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary said, “Assets amounting to Rs 289.28 crore have been seized under section 37A of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.”

On a question whether the Government proposes to ban such gaming companies, the reply said, “Necessary action as per provisions of law is taken against such companies, as mentioned above.”

On a question whether online gaming companies are not paying income tax and the Income Tax Department has issued notices to many gaming companies, the reply said, “The information regarding online Gaming companies, which are not paying income tax and where the Income tax Department has issued notices to such gaming companies, is not available, since no specific identification code for online gaming entities is available in Income Tax Return. The disclosure of information about specific taxpayers is prohibited except as provided under section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.”

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