Update: Mohit Kalra, CEO of Coinsecure has now confirmed to Coin Crunch that Amitabh Saxena was arrested. The story has been updated accordingly.
On Saturday, news reports about the arrest of Amitabh Saxena, the CSO of Coinsecure exchange spread across the community. The first one to report was Times of India with headline ‘Cyber cell arrests security head of cryptocurrency firm‘. Quoting Times of India, various other channels published their version of the story as well.
Mohit Kalra, CEO of coinsecure confirmed later that the news is indeed true.
He (Amitabh Saxena) has been arrested, it’s been more than a week now
In April Coinsecure exchange lost 438 Bitcoins from their wallet and raised a complaint accusing Amitabh Saxena of siphoning the funds. It has been a bumpy ride ever since as Coinsecure went through investigations from the authorities and complaints from the customers. Eventually the exchange decided to reimburse the customers in INR at Bitcoin’s rate on the day of the hack, April 9.
While the process of refund is ongoing, the news about Amitabh Saxena’s arrest had many heads turning. Bitcoin India, a popular telegram channel for Crypto news in India published the news with a quote of TOI report
Saxena has admitted to having logged into the server. Police are probing whether he has transferred the currency to someone and was paid for it.
Kalra tells me that the BTC were lost before Saxena extracted Bitcoin Gold, the purpose for which he was supposed to log in. That led them and the Cyber cell to believe that it might be Amitabh Saxena who was responsible for the loot.
In other news, while most media houses started publishing their articles on the subject based on the TOI report, I wanted to point a few things out from there.
Probing Times of India
I checked the original TOI report to see if I can find something else in it. Here’s what I see.
One important point on the report is
DCP (Cyber Cell) Anwesh Roy said that the accused, Amitabh Saxena, had been asked to join the probe after it was found that only he had access to the secure server of the company. In its complaint, the firm had claimed that it lost 438 Bitcoin from its wallets. This had been reported by TOI earlier.
While many would (even I did), take this statement to be a recent one and possibly start sharing it, what I discovered later is that this is not a recent statement. Look at the last line that says “This has been reported by TOI earlier“. It means that this is not a recent statement.
But, Crypto News India’s article contains the quote as is, and as if it happened right now. This is a serious misinterpretation of the situation.
Rehashing the Information
Upon further investigations I noticed something on an article on Times of India that was published on April 22. A part of the report is the same as the one published on Saturday.
Rehashing old information to fill a report is a common practice in journalism. Copying it in a way that can mislead readers is unethical. Maybe I think differently because I never went to journalism school, but I know my readers will appreciate everything to be clearly informed.
The Other Information on TOI
There is some important information on the TOI report that should not be missed. One is that Cyber Cell arrested Amitabh Saxena after they discovered that Saxena had logged into the servers to extract Bitcoin Gold.
Police, according to TOI are probing whether he had transferred the currency to someone and was paid for it.
Bitcoin Gold is not equal to Bitcoin
The report is surrounding around the fact that Bitcoin Gold was extracted by Saxena. It has no mention of the lost Bitcoin. The company already claimed in their first report that Saxena lost BTC while extracting Bitcoin Gold. As Kalra said earlier, the theft occurred before BTG was extracted.
The report is right about the arrest. But, Saxena never extracted Bitcoin Gold according to Kalra. The story however around the web is stretching the fabric of story telling on both ends.
In the end, I would like to appeal to the colleagues of my fraternity to be a little more vigilant, do a little more research and please do not publish a report exactly as reported by ONE and only ONE news source. Have atleast two different well researched sources.
What do you think really happened with Coinsecure and Cyber Cell? Let us know in the comments below
Update: The title of the story was “It’s Fake News: CoinSecure CEO on Amitabh Saxena’s arrest and confession”. It was published with inputs from the CEO himself who after the publishing of the article contacted us. He called “fake news” to some other report (coincrunch has seen no other report) and updated his statement. Hence the title was updated along with the story.
Additionally, I would like to apologise on behalf of coin crunch India to Crypto News India – they were right about the arrest of Amitabh Saxena.