Crypto Stolen From Indian Businessman Used by Hamas in Attacks on Israel
Nearly 4 crore INR ($480,000) crypto stolen from a businessman in Delhi, India has been traced back to crypto accounts linked to Hamas by Indian police.
Indian authorities received input from Israeli intelligence agency Mossad regarding some suspect wallets that were being used by terror organizations for funding.
The security agencies in India then discovered that a number of these suspect wallets, which had received stolen cryptocurrencies from a Delhi businessman, were under the control of the cyber terrorism division of Hamas known as the Al Wassam Brigades.
Former DCP (Special Cell) KPS Malhotra who investigated the case told Times of India.
The cryptocurrencies were routed through various private wallets before they landed in wallets linked to Hamas, the report added citing a police officer.
Hamas Raised Over $41 Million in Crypto
As reported earlier, an Israeli crypto analytics and software firm revealed that over $41 million worth of funds flowed into the cryptocurrency wallets linked to Hamas between August 2021 and June 2023 in the lead up to the attack on Israel.
During the same timeframe, crypto wallets linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) received as much as $93 million in cryptocurrency between August 2021 and June 2023, as revealed through analysis by crypto researcher Elliptic.
The cyber unit’s investigation earlier revealed that Hamas had initiated an online fundraising campaign with the outbreak of the recent conflict, urging the public to deposit cryptocurrencies into its accounts on social media platforms.
However, Israeli police moved swiftly to freeze all such accounts
Terror Financing in Crypto Remains a Challenge
Terror organizations have managed to evade sanctions and still raise funds through cryptocurrencies in recent years. Authorities around the world are actively trying to regulate crypto to put a stop to such activities by enforcing KYC requirements and Anti-Terror Financing regulations like Travel Rule.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a report in April highlighting that many decentralized finance (DeFi) services have failed to implement anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations.