2 Israeli Brothers Arrested for Bitcoin Crimes, Potential Connection to Past Bitfinex Hack

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Two brothers from Jerusalem were recently arrested by the cybercrime division of the Israeli police. The duo is accused of stealing tens of millions of dollars.



Israeli police have apprehended two brothers who are responsible for defrauding people out of tens of millions of dollars. Eli Gigi and his younger brother, Assaf Gigi, were apparently engaged in ‘systemic theft’ of Bitcoin for some time. They would do so by creating fake cryptocurrency sites which would mimic exchanges and wallets.

The victims would be lured to these sites and would be unaware they were typing in their private information on a phishing site. The information collected was used to transfer the stolen funds to the brothers’ wallets.



Alleged Connection to Bitfinex Hack

So far, the phishing scam is said to be the brothers’ main method of committing their cybercrime. However, it is also speculated that the duo was responsible for the Bitfinex hack in 2016. Israeli police are actively investigating a connection between the brothers and the 2016 hack of multiple Bitfinex accounts.

The case is being pursued by multiple countries since most of the victims were the United States or European citizens. Israeli police say that the multi-national effort is ongoing. The authorities were apparently not open to answering questions on the brothers’ connection to the Bitfinex hack.

More to Be Uncovered

A raid on Eli Gigi’s home was conducted by Israeli police earlier this week. The authorities were able to acquire his main cryptocurrency wallet. However, Israeli crime news outlet Posta reported that the amount in the wallet was “significantly lower” than expected. The police also uncovered luxury cars owned by the duo. The suspected missing funds have led the police to believe there is more being stashed away.

Eli Gigi, the leader of the two, was previously in the IDF. A graduate of its technological unit, the investigation against him has been ongoing since 2017. However, this is the first time proper charges have been brought against him and his brother.

Do you believe it is possible that the brothers were responsible for the 2016 Bitfinex hack? Let us know your thoughts below. 

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Raised in the U.S, Lucian graduated with a BA in economic history. An accomplished freelance journalist, he specializes in writing about the cryptocurrency space and the digital '4th industrial revolution' we find ourselves in.

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