Bengaluru

Bitcoins worth ₹9 crore seized from hacker

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police, probing hacker Sri Krishna, who had been arrested in a drug peddling case in November 2020, have recovered 31 bitcoins valued at ₹9 crore from him.

Investigations have now revealed that Sri Krishna along with his associates allegedly hacked three bitcoin exchanges, 10 poker websites, four other websites including Karnataka State e-procurement website. The CCB will write to all these firms through Interpol alerting them that they were hacked, said a senior police official.

Sri Krishna allegedly hacked bitcoin accounts to steal the currency. According to the police, he would then transfer them to a bitcoin trader, identified as Robin Khandelwal, from whose associates he used to get equivalent amounts of money through benami bank accounts and hawala. “He used this money to lead a lavish lifestyle and also procure drugs through the dark web,” the senior police official added.

The 31 bitcoins, which the police found in Sri Krishna’s account, have been seized. Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (Crime), said: “The agency has opened a new bitcoin account with the permission of the State government. We have transferred the 31 bitcoins into that account. Its value is subject to market fluctuations.”

At the time of his arrest last year, the software engineer from Jayanagar was also accused of carrying out ransomware attacks, where after hacking a website, he would encrypt data and demand payment from owners for the site to be unlocked

His modus operandi came to light during a CCB investigation into an international drug racket where seven people have been arrested, including former Minister Rudrappa Lamani’s son Darshan Lamani and his associates Hemanth and Suneesh Hegde.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 10:31:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bitcoins-worth-9-crore-seized-from-hacker/article33582390.ece

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