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Indian Police Arrest Two People for Stealing Cryptocurrencies Amid Investigation

The lack of expertise in blockchain and digital currencies makes investigating fraud cases not only tricky, but also susceptible to new scams. In one such case, police in the Indian city of Pune arrested two people who had been hired to help investigate a crypto fraud case filed in 2018.

What’s the deal?

According to the Pune police, they have hired Ravindra Patil and Pankaj Ghode to assist in the investigation of a fraud case involving digital currencies. Ravindra Patil was an elite Indian Police Service (IPS) officer before he voluntarily retired and started working as a private investigator in the crypto industry. Pankaj Ghode has been hired as a crypto technical expert.

The case was registered in 2018 and police had arrested 17 people, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Cyber ​​and Economic Crimes Wing, Vijay Palsule informed.

Since the police lacked technical expertise in cryptography, they took Patil and Ghode aboard for help.

According to the police, Patil transferred certain cryptocurrencies from the defendant’s account to his wallet using technical details provided by the police to complete the investigation.

“The role of the duo was exposed during the investigation by senior officials. Patil and Ghode used the data provided by the police for the technical analysis. According to the preliminary investigation, Ghode manipulated the screenshots ostensibly showing less amount in crypto wallets and submitted them to the police,” Palsule said.

The fraud of both is in crores of rupees (1 crore is worth 10 million). After performing a KYC check, the officers were convinced that Patil and Ghode had committed the fraud. Subsequently, the police registered a case and arrested them. The court took them into custody for a week to help with the investigation.

The lack of blockchain expertise runs deep

The lack of blockchain and crypto expertise runs deep among Indian law enforcement.

Recently, the Supreme Court of India asked a senior government lawyer in a hearing who represented the Directorate of Law Enforcement whether bitcoin is legal or not.

Currently, the country does not have a regulatory framework for the crypto sector. This leads to digital asset related cases being framed and heard under different laws. For the agencies, collecting evidence and proving the allegations in court has been a difficult task. In many cases, the court awards remedies or resorts to lesser sentences to the accused in the absence of clear law.

As the second most populous country with a proven advantage in software development, the Indian government‘s indecisiveness over crypto regulation has been frustrating for burgeoning entrepreneurs and the digital asset ecosystem.

Sandeep Nailwal, CEO and co-founder of Polygon, recently said that the lack of regulation is pushing “thousands of developers, investors, and entrepreneurs to move to countries with friendlier regulatory frameworks.”


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