a lost man $12 lakh in Maharashtra after an unidentified man hacked into a cryptocurrency account. The incident was reported in the city of Thane in Maharashtra.

According to the PTI news agency, an unidentified person allegedly hacked into the cryptocurrency account of a 37-year-old man and siphoned off $15,097, worth approximately $12 lakhs.

The incident occurred on November 1, 2022, but the man complained to the police last week, an officer at the Srinagar police station said. Based on the complaint, the Srinagar Police here registered a case on Saturday against an unidentified person under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (cheating) and the provisions of the Information Technology Act.

The victim, a resident of Kandivali in neighboring Mumbai, had come to work in Thane on November 1 when someone allegedly hacked into his online crypto account and siphoned off the amount.

The victim gave no reason to register the complaint after two months, police said, adding that they were investigating the case.

Meanwhile, data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis showed illicit cryptocurrency use hit a record $20.1 billion in 2022 as transactions involving companies targeted by US sanctions soared.

The cryptocurrency market faltered in 2022 as risk appetite waned and several cryptocurrency companies collapsed. Investors were left with heavy losses and regulators intensified calls for greater consumer protection.

Despite overall crypto transaction volumes falling, the value of crypto transactions related to illicit activities rose for the second year in a row, Chainalysis said.

Transactions associated with sanctioned entities increased more than 100,000 times in 2022 and accounted for 44% of illicit activity last year, Chainalysis said.

The volume of stolen crypto funds increased 7% last year, but other illicit crypto transactions, including those related to scams, ransomware, terrorist financing, and human trafficking, saw their volumes drop.

Chainalysis said its $20.1 billion estimate only includes activity recorded on the blockchain and excludes “off-chain” crimes, such as fraudulent accounting by crypto companies.

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