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Police Trace 237 Bitcoins Siphoned by Ex IPS and Cyber Expert

237 bitcoins were found with a former IPS officer and a cyber expert who were already being investigated for embezzling money during the investigation of the Gainbitcoin scam.

The investigation of the Gainbitcoin scam took a sharp turn when it was found that among the investigating team a former IPS officer Ravindranath Patil (45) and cyber expert Pankaj Ghode (38) had embezzled bitcoins from the wallets of the accused.

Since then, Pune Police have been interrogating both Patil and Ghode. Now the Police have found traced 237 bitcoins siphoned off by the two cyber experts who were arrested, reported The Indian Express. The police said that they were also investigating a discrepancy of 900 bitcoins in the reports submitted by other accused in the case.

After a probe that began in April 2021, the Pune City Police’s cyber cell, on March 12, arrested the two experts. Ghode and Patil had helped a Special Investigation Team of the Pune Police during the probe of two multimillion-dollar bitcoin ponzi scheme offences in 2018. From the 17 accused arrested in the 2018 case, the Pune police had, with the help of Ghode and Patil, seized 241.46 Bitcoins, 452 Bitcoin Cash, and 94 Ethereum units.

“We have been able to trace as many 237 bitcoins to the wallets linked to Patil, equivalent to worth over Rs 84 crore. Prima facie, this chunk of cryptocurrency is from what was seized from the accused in the 2018 cases. The probe suggests that Patil was also involved in crypto trading. To date, we have seized Rs 6 crore worth of cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Ripple and four others. We are also probing a discrepancy of 900 bitcoins — equivalent to over Rs 320 crore today — in the reports submitted by Ghode at the time of the 2018 investigation.”

A Police Official

A court in Pune on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of the brother and wife of Patil in connection with the ongoing investigation.

Another officer who is part of the present investigation revealed, “We have also questioned the police officers who conducted the probe in 2018 cases and others who supervised them. We are looking at possible oversight or even more collusion on the part of some of these officers that helped Patil and Ghode.”

Indian law enforcement must be trained to investigate crypto-related crimes. As the law enforcement cracks down on crime, it will create a conducive environment for both investment and entrepreneurship as people would be more willing to adopt crypto, considering a safe environment.

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