Crypto Theft In India Leads Delhi Police Investigators To Middle East Terror Trail

Online scam, cybercrime, fraud, theft
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Delhi Police on Monday said it has solved a case of cryptocurrency theft by busting a cyber fraud module operated by Al-Qassam Brigates, the military wing of Hamas, which operated by hacking into crypto-wallets of people and transferring the stolen virtual currency into the digital wallets linked to the terrorist organization.

Delhi Police said they started investigations, based on a case that was first registered at Paschim Vihar Police Station in the national capital in which the complainant reported that some unknown persons had fraudulently transferred cryptocurrency including Bitcoins, Etherum and Bitcoin cash-totaling a value of worth about Rs 30 lakh -from his cryptocurrency wallet. Initially, a case was registered at Paschim Vihar Police Sation, on the orders of the Court but subsequently, the investigation was transferred to Cyber Crime Unit, Special Cell, Delhi.

During the course of the investigation, the cryptocurrency trail led to startling facts, that the virtual currencies ended up in the digital wallets maintained by Al-Qassam Brigates, which is the military wing of Palestinian organization Hamas and into the wallets which have already been seized by Israel’s Defence Ministry’s National Bureau for Counter Financing.

The police said that the cryptocurrencies were routed through various private wallets and finally landed into suspects digital wallets, being used/operated in Gaza, Egypt and the military wings of Hamas, which has been blacklisted as a terror organization by the US and European Union. One such wallet has already been seized/frozen by National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing, Israel.

One of the seized wallets belongs to one person identified as Mohammad Naseer Ibrahim Abdulla, the police said.

“Other wallets in which a major share of cryptocurrencies have been transferred are being operated from Giza in Egypt. One such wallet belongs to Ahmed Marzooq who is a resident of Giza. Another wallet, in which cryptocurrencies have been transferred belongs to Ahmed QH Safi who is a resident of Ramallah in the Palestinian city,” the police said.

Delhi Police said that from the investigation conducted so far, it has been revealed that the bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies were fraudulently transferred from the digital wallet of the complainant.

The probe by Delhi Police is part of a larger investigation launched by Rakesh Ashtana and led by a special team helmed by DCP KPS Malhotra.

Hamas is known to raise funds through the use of cryptocurrencies to avoid being tracked.

Further probe in the matter is underway and Delhi Police said it is looking into other complaints of crypto wallet thefts.

(With ANI inputs)

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