Police have arrested three people for their alleged involvement in dealing cryptocurrency, a virtual currency, from Habiganj and Laxmipur.
arrestees are Ahsan Habib alias Shah Md Tanim, 22, and Sohel Mia alias Kazi Sohel, 27, of Habiganj; and Maruf Hossain alias Maruf Billah, 25, of Laxmipur.
A case was filed against them with Bogura Sadar Police Station under the Digital Security Act on Thursday, said police.
A team of Bogura cyber police arrested Ahsan and Sohel from Habiganj’s Madhabpur upazila on Tuesday and Maruf from Laxmipur’s Raipur upazila the following day, said Inspector Imran Mahmud Tuhin of Bogura cyber police unit.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Sukria Rahman yesterday placed the arrestees on a four-day remand, said Imran, also investigation officer of the case.
Police produced them before the court, seeking an eight-day remand for the accused, he added.
“Dealing cryptocurrency or virtual currency, such as Bitcoin, is illegal in Bangladesh,” said Ali Ashraf Bhuiyan, superintendent of Bogura police, adding that but transactions were still taking place online with those virtual currencies.
“Transactions in this medium are done through cryptography, using secret codes which are difficult to break to extract information.”
“In Bangladesh, cryptocurrency is mostly used for gambling, especially during IPL and BPL, or hiding illegal wealth form the government. Some are also involved in buying Bitcoins and selling them when their price increases,” said the SP.
“Based on investigation, Bogura cyber police unit came to know that a gang had been involved in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Skrill, Litecoin, WebMoney, Neteller, and Perfect Money trade, and kept them under surveillance. The group also allegedly extorted money from a number of clients, promising to give them Bitcoins,” he said.
The primary investigation revealed that the dealers had created two websites on December 20, 2017, and January 14, 2018, using which they had been making transactions involving virtual currency, said police.
Analysis found that the websites had 7,362 active users and about 27,800 transactions had been made through the websites. The arrestees used to transfer the money received from trading virtual currencies to their mobile banking accounts, said the SP.
The law enforcers blocked the websites and seized two laptops, 16 mobile phones, and 20 SIMs from the arrestees, said police.