India unfreezes Zebpay account as Bitcoin thieves remain under watch


India’s largest Bitcoin exchange has confirmed that its account has been unfrozen by India financial authorities.

According to Coindesk, ZebPay released a statement to confirm that it is helping investigators to track down thieves after they purchased Bitcoin on its exchange.

Earlier this week, a local news service reported that criminals had exploited a bug that allowed them to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state-owned Bank of Maharashtra. Those behind the heist then exchanged some of those funds for bitcoins through Zebpay.

In investigating the crime, police froze three bank accounts tied to the outgoing funds, including one owned by the exchange. According to the report, four individuals were ultimately identified as the alleged culprits, all residents of the city of Buldhana.

When contacted by CoinDesk, Zebpay co-founder Sandeep Goenka said that the bug had allowed the hackers to spend more money than was actually held in the affected accounts, some of which was used to buy bitcoins with the exchange.

The startup had cooperated with the investigation into the theft, he explained, adding that “operations were normal during this period and none of our users were affected”.

The statement said:

“Zebpay helped the Pune Cyber Crime department to get back the bitcoins purchased by the accused. This was possible because we follow KYC for all users. The Cyber Crime office then gave orders to sell the bitcoins to recover the money. These bitcoins were also sold on Zebpay.”

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