The CEO of Coinsecure, an India-based cryptocurrency exchange, has accused his CSO of stealing 438 Bitcoin —around $3.3 million at today's exchange rate— from the exchange's main wallet.
Coinsecure announced the theft of the 438 BTC today, via two images posted on its homepage. The first image contained a statement signed by the Coinsecure team announcing the incident, and the second was a scanned copy of a police complaint Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra filed with New Delhi police. Both are embedded at the bottom of this article.
"Our system itself has never been compromised or hacked, and the current issue points towards losses caused during an exercise to extract BTG [Bitcoin Gold] to distribute to our customers, " the Coinsecure team wrote in its statement.
"Our CSO, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, was extracting BTG and he claims that funds have been lost in the process during the extraction of the private keys," Coinsecure added.
According to the police complaint, Dr. Saxena informed Coinsecure that the funds "were stolen from [the] company's Bitcoin wallet due to some attack."
But Coinsecure's CEO did not believe his collaborator's explanation and wrote in the police complaint that his fellow exec is "making a false story to divert [his] attention and might have a role to play in this entire incident."
The CEO is now asking New Delhi police to seize the CSO's passport believing his collaborator "might fly out of the country soon."
Kalra founded Coinsecure in 2014, and according to the police complaint, only he and Dr. Saxena had private keys to the exchange's main wallet.
The theft of the Coinsecure funds occurred four days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred local banks and financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies, causing a mass panic on the Indian cryptocurrency market.
Countless of users flocked to exchanges to withdraw and convert Bitcoin into local currency before the ban entered into effect.
According to Indrajeet Bhuyan, an Indian security researcher, this is the first heist that occurred at an Indian Bitcoin exchange.