In what is considered as the biggest cryptocurrency theft in India so far, nearly US$3.1 million worth of Bitcoins were stolen from a leading crypto exchange in the country.

In a complaint filed with the cyber cell, Delhi-based Coinsecure has accused its Chief Scientific Officer Amitabh Saxena of stealing the money from the company’s wallet using the private keys.

The exchange has also urged the government to seize Saxena’s passport to prevent him from flying out of the country.

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“Dear Users, We regret to inform you that our Bitcoin funds have been exposed and seem to have been siphoned out to an address that is outside our control. Our system itself has never been compromised or hacked, and the current issue points towards losses caused during an exercise to extract BTG to distribute to our customers. 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.

An FIR has been lodged with the Cyber Cell, Delhi (copy of the complaint enclosed), and we have expert investigators already on the case.

We are working round the clock to restore services and to try and recover all of the lost funds, and we shall keep all our users posted on the outcome of the details to ensure utmost transparency,” Coinsecure said in a message posted on its website.

The company has also promised to refund the amount to its customers from the founders’ personal funds.

In a similar case, a Chinese man accused of stealing 100 bitcoins worth US$1.3 million was detained by the Beijing Police, following a complaint by his employer. The suspect, who used to work as a system administrator in the IT company, allegedly modified the firm’s computer applications to appropriate the virtual currency.

Founded in 2014, Coinsecure is focussed on building an entire ecosystem for Bitcoin and blockchain in India. In addition to an online exchange, Coinsecure also offers wallet, merchant gateway and APIs.