PUNE Two cyber experts have been arrested by the Pune police cybercrime cell for misleading the police and forging evidence that was entrusted to them in the investigation of the bitcoin cheating case in 2018.
The two have been identified as Pankaj Prakash Ghode, a resident of Tadiwala road and Ravindra Prabhakar Patil, a resident of Bibwewadi, according to the police.
The two were remanded to police custody till March 19 by a court in Pune on Saturday.
Their suspicious behaviour landed on the radar of the Additional Director General of Police, Economic Offence Wing, Maharashtra who in turn had ordered an inquiry. The inquiry was thus headed by the deputy commissioner of police, EOW of Pune police.
The inquiry confirmed that the two had manipulated screenshots and transferred cryptocurrency seized from the accused in two cases — one at Nigdi and one at Dattawadi police station in 2018.
“A total of 17 people were arrested in those cases and the two experts had seized cryptocurrency (241.47858055 Bitcoin, 452 Bitcoin cash, and 94.254124 Ether) from them. While doing so, the former investigating officer had trusted them with the possession of the data. Given that the two were aware of the police’s dependence on them, they were expected to show utmost professionalism and discretion. While Patil misused the data to transfer cryptocurrency from national and international wallets of the accused and transferred them to himself and his partners, Ghode made manipulated screenshots and submitted them for investigation,” read a statement by the police.
The police confirmed the crime by checking the KYC done on their crypto wallets in order to transfer the currency that was to be seized from the original accused, according to the police.
A case under Sections 409, 420, 465, 468, 471, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 66© of Information Technology Act and Sections 3 and 4 of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors has been registered at Cyber police station.
Police inspector Ankush Chintaman is investigating the case.