This phenomenon has brought attention to the anonymous and international nature of virtual currency. Criminals often take advantage of anonymity to commit money laundering, terrorism, tax fraud and drug smuggling. Although most cryptocurrency transactions are legitimate, there are also many frauds.
GMP’s Economic Crime Unit said a total of $9.5 million (about Rs 70.6 crore) in stolen ethereum was found in the seized USB sticks. A few days after finding an online vault (a cryptograph safety deposit box) and its access code, police found $12.7 million (about Rs 94.4 crore) in another case.
GMP said they have begun to trace the rightful owners, some of whom are still unknown and spread around the world, and that we are returning them their money. One of the victims of the fraud, who wished to remain anonymous, told police that he had been using cryptocurrency for years. “The hack really surprised us at first,” he said, thanking the police for tracking the money.
The GMP said that the victim will now get 90 per cent of his investment back and if all the money is not claimed, he will get the full amount. Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop of the Economic Crime Unit said people are increasingly moving online and see cryptocurrencies as the future of money and trading. But this change is also leading to a new type of crime, and opportunistic criminals are trying to take advantage of these trends as well as any gaps in technology. Harrop said the police also needed to adapt to this newly emerging crime. As on 19th August (IST) the price of Ether in India was Rs 2.33 Lakh.