Any kind of transaction using cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, is illegal, Kamrul Ahsan, additional deputy inspector general of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Bangladesh police, told The Business Standard.
Transactions made through cryptocurrency would violate three laws – the special powers act, the foreign exchange regulation act and anti-corruption laws, he commented in the wake of confusion created over the central bank's opinion that ownership, holding or transaction of cryptocurrency is not a crime.
In a letter sent to the CID on 18 May, the Bangladesh Bank made the opinion that created confusion about the legality of using cryptocurrency.
The central bank sent the letter when the CID sought the central bank's opinion on two cases that are being investigated in connection with cryptocurrency dealing.
The central bank's opinion contradicts its own stand as it had issued a warning notice against transactions of cryptocurrency in 2016.
When contacted about the recent contradictory statement, Ahmed Jamal, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, said there is no scope to say that using cryptocurrency is not a crime.
The Bangladesh Bank has been warning against using cryptocurrency since 2016, he said.
"We still stick to our stand that using the currency is illegal."
However, the word used in the letter was misleading and the central bank will issue an explanation in this regard, he added.
The central bank had earlier issued a warning on 24 December 2016 on their website asking people to refrain from trading in artificial currencies (such as Bitcoin).
At that time, it said in a statement that "transactions in virtual currency may violate anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws".
Referring to the latest letter by the central bank, Kamrul said even in that letter, the bank has specified that trading in cryptocurrency can be a crime.
In the central bank letter, it was mentioned that transactions in virtual currencies can, however, be listed as crimes in the second phase of the Foreign Exchange Control Act 1947, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2009 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2012.
On condition of anonymity, another top CID official also said there is no scope for making transactions using cryptocurrency.
Earlier, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested several gangs over alleged transections of cryptocurrency from Dhaka and Gazipur.
According to the CID sources, two cases are being investigated over dealing with cryptocurrency.
CID already submitted a charge sheet before the court over a case in connection with cryptocurrency.
"As we got a proof of transactions using cryptocurrency during the investigation. According to the law, this type of transaction is apparently illegal. So, the CID submitted the charge sheet against the accused," said Ibrahim Hossen, a CID inspector.