Indian Crypto Exchange Co-Founder Arrested By Police For Unregistered ‘Illegal’ Bitcoin ATM

Daily news reports that Unocoin, the co-founder of Indian crypto exchange has been arrested after establishing an allegedly unregistered Bitcoin(BTC) Atm machine in Bangalore.

Harish BV was apprehended by police by having installed the ATM Kiosk at Kemp Fort Mall on the old airport road, together with sathvik viswanath.

Indian business magazine today cites a press statement from the central crime branch which states the ATM installation did not get “any permission from the state government and is dealing in cryptocurrency outside the remit of the law.”

CCB authorities have also reported having seized “a teller machine, two laptops, a mobile, three credit cards, five debit cards, a passport, five seals of Unocoin company, a cryptocurrency device and Rs 1.8 lakh ($2,460).”

As corroborated by many local Indian media sources, the ATM had not been working ahead of the police action. According to a tweet by Unocoin:

“Our Machine didn’t go well with few mainstream media reports who projected it under a negative light. The machine is still under final testing mode and it will be up and running in the upcoming week. The machine has been temporarily moved from its original place of installation.”

The Harish BV was reportedly introduced before an ACMM (Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate) court, which sent him to the police for a week. Police are said to have stated “more arrests are likely,” and to have appealed to the public “not to be lured by the prospect of making huge profits” through crypto.

It was reported that the ATM was used for cryptocurrency deals with The News Minute (TNM) outlining that it had been set up in response to Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s prohibition on financial institutions dealing in cryptocurrency.

Referring to the Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley’s 2018-2019 budget speech, Viswanath is quoted saying that “The minister’s statement was clear: Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say ‘illegal tender.”

“There’s a huge difference. It means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry.”

As reported before, UNocoin this summer declared it has stopped fiat deposits and withdrawals “as per orders” from the RBI. Crypto asset deposits still continue to be effective on both Unocoin’s crypto-rupee trading platform and partner crypto-crypto exchange Unodax.


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