For the first time in India, a police think tank has developed a sixty-four-page standard operating procedure (SOP) for investigating crypto crimes with the help of law enforcement agencies.
BPRD (Bureau of Police Research and Development) guidelines stipulate that law enforcement organizations need a crypto wallet to hold seized digital assets. They also need to communicate with the crypto exchanges, block the suspect’s wallet, and reset the keys to terminate transactions in an open investigation.
According to BPRD, authorities working on cybercrime cases involving cryptocurrency must meticulously document the scene throughout the entire opening process. The purpose of it is to preserve the evidence that has to be used in court.
According to the SOP, there must be a prompt reaction from the agencies to seize the crypto wallet as soon as there is a development in a cryptocurrency-related crime.
The document mentions that officers can have complete access to the wallets when they have appropriate warrants to seize the device if the wallet is non-encrypted. In the case of an encrypted wallet, obtaining the encryption code, passwords, or seed words from the suspect is the simplest form of access.
The document mentions further that if quick access to the suspect’s wallet is not granted by the suspect, then the device in seizure should be switched to airplane mode, or put in a bag that blocks electromagnetic fields.
The SOP has warned investigators about changing seized currency under probe to a local one because it can cost legal consequences to the department.
An article in The Wall Street Journal dated January 6 mentions that the illegal use of cryptocurrency will amount to $14 billion by 2021.
The center has started taxing earnings from cryptocurrencies at 30%. However, the absence of national guidelines on cryptocurrency cases has caused enforcement agencies to suffer, especially in seizures and tracing suspects. Until now, cryptocurrency cases were being investigated using contemporary cybercrime laws.
You can read the standard operating procedure on BPRD’s website or by clicking here.