Indian Police Closes Country’s First Bitcoin ATM, Arrests Owner

Indian Police close the first Bitcoin ATM in India a few days after it was installed and arrested its owner.


Unocoin ATM Closed in India, Co-Founder Arrested

A few weeks back, Unocoin launches its first Bitcoin ATM in India, specifically, in the City of Bengaluru. However, recently the cybercrime division of the City’s Police force stormed the Kiosk housing to close the Bitcoin ATM down. This follows a case the police division registry against the cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin.

The exchange’s co-founder Harish BN was also under arrest in the operation. Various news sources in India reveals this incident, citing a statement of the Cyber Crime department of the Central Crime Branch (CCB).

The crime unit alleges that the Bitcoin ATM at the city’s Kempfort Mall was placed without acquiring a prior permission from the state authority. Therefore, the unit concludes the facility’s dealing in cryptocurrency is unlawful.

The implicating Unocoin facility allows customers to deposit and withdraw a minimum amount of RS 1,000 (about $13.66 USD). However, the machine does not support any credit or debit cards as banks omission is in action from the transaction.

“The ATM kiosk installed by Unocoin in Bengaluru’s Kempfort Mall has not taken any permission from the state government and is dealing in cryptocurrency outside the remit of the law” The crime Unit Said,

The report also indicates that the police seizes several gadgets along with Rs 1.79 lakh (2668.45 USD ) in cash from Harish. Additional items taken into police custody includes

  • Two Laptops
  • A mobile phone
  • One unidentified cryptocurrency device
  • Passport
  • Debit and credit cards

Harish was paraded in a Bengaluru court and placed under custody.

Reserve Bank Of India’s Crackdown On Cryptocurrency In India

Unocoin proceeds to set up the Bitcoin ATM despite the Reserve Bank of India’s bold crackdown on cryptocurrency. The central bank orders all banks and firms to terminate the relationship with cryptocurrency exchanges in India. The directive became effective on July 6, 2018, with the government commenting that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are not legal tenders in India.

Unocoin reveals that the decision to set up the ATM follows after the central bank ban on cryptocurrency trading in July this year.

“Due to the RBI’s recent notification on ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’, our banking relationships disrupts some time ago,” Unocoin had said.

The crypto firm was planning to install addition ATM kiosks in Delhi and Mumbai. Meanwhile, in the south American Country of Argentina, more than 30 cryptocurrency ATMs are flourishing. This follows surging demand for crypto following the weakening of the Argentine Peso against the USD.

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Jacob Okonya

Jacob has been engaged in blockchain technologies, Bitcoin, and fintech. He worked mostly as a blockchain market researcher, fintech journalist, and online forum moderator. Jacob is involved in creating articles and educational content for different project components, explaining how users can utilize the various resources.

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