Delhi Police’s Special Cell is currently investigating a case of cryptocurrency theft. As per a TOI report by Raj Shekhar, approximately Rs 4 crore was stolen from a west Delhi businessman’s wallet. The police were able to trace some recipient wallet IDs but faced difficulties in tracking down the end users. However, a breakthrough occurred when Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, shared information about suspect wallets operated by terrorist groups for funding purposes. These wallets were linked to the al Qassam brigades of Hamas, a Palestinian terror group, and had been seized by Israel’s National Bureau for counter terror financing.
The Special Cell’s Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Ops (IFSO) unit compared the wallets and discovered that several of them had received the stolen Bitcoin and Ethereum assets from Delhi. These wallets were operated by the cyber terrorism wing of Hamas. Sources indicate that intelligence agencies are on high alert for renewed efforts by Hamas to collect funds through hacking in pro-Israel countries. Recently, the cyber unit of Israel Police froze numerous cryptocurrency accounts held by Hamas for fundraising. Israel Police urged crypto exchange Binance to transfer the seized funds to the country’s state treasury.
This case in Delhi marks the first instance of Hamas’ activity in India. The Special Cell officers communicated the details of their investigation to the relevant authorities. Former DCP (Special Cell) KPS Malhotra’s team led the investigation and confirmed the connections to the al Qassam brigades. The case was initially reported in 2019 at Paschim Vihar police station and later transferred to the Special Cell by court orders.
After uncovering the Hamas link, technical analysis revealed that one of the seized wallets belonged to Naseer Ibrahim Abdulla in Gaza, while other wallets were connected to Hamas operatives such as Ahmed Marzooq in Giza and Ahmed QH Safi in Ramallah, Palestine. The stolen cryptocurrencies were routed through various private wallets before ending up in these suspected wallets, according to a police officer involved in the investigation.
(The article was originally published in TOI)