Kasaragod, Jan 14, 2018: The cyber cell, investigating the net banking fraud in which Rs 22 lakh was swindled from the bank accounts of two co-operative institutions in Kasaragod, have found a bitcoin link to the entire episode.
It has been suspected that the money stolen from the SBI accounts of co-operative institutions in Bedadukka and Chengala in the district was used for investing in cryptocurrency bitcoin.
Bedadukka institution’s Rs 5.87 lakh was lost from its account at Thayalangadi branch on January 4 and Rs 16.95 lakh belonging to the Chengala institution was lost from the Civil Station branch on January 6 and 8.
On examining the bank transaction records, the Cyber Cell found that the money of the Bedadukka co-operative institution was transferred to a Delhi branch of the ICICI bank through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
The matter came to light when the co-operative institution’s secretary received a message about the fund transaction. The Cyber Cell, in its primary investigation, has found that money has been credited to an account of an authorised bitcoin dealer, who trades the cryptocurrency through the site localbitcoins.com.
When the dealer sold a particular number of bitcoins through the site, the money was automatically credited to his account through net banking from the SBI account of the Bedadukka co-operative institution.
The Cyber Cell is trying to find out the real culprit behind the online fraud. It is suspected that someone might have hacked into the website to swindle the money.
As per the police’s directive, ICICI has frozen the accounts of the bitcoin trader.