Thirteen BJP MLAs from Uttar Pradesh and a former legislator have received extortion threat messages from a USA-registered number. WhatsApp messages, written in Devanagari script, demanded Rs 10 lakh in form of Bitcoins. The MLAs who got the messages include:
- Veer Vikram Singh (Meeranpur Katra in Shahjahanpur),
- Manvendra Singh (Dadraul in Shahjahanpur),
- Prem Prakash Pandey (Tarabganj in Gonda),
- Vinay Kumar Dwivedi (Mehnam in Gonda),
- Vinod Katiyar (Bhognipur in Kanpur),
- Shahshank Trivedi (Mahauli in Sitapur),
- Dhirendra Bahadur Singh (Sareni-Raebareli).
- Anita Rajput (Debai in Bulandshahr), and more.
In all the messages, the sender had given out his name as Ali Budesh Bhai from Dubai, a reference to a gangster once linked to the now Pakistan-based Dawood Ibrahim. STF sources said,
“During the probe, a crypto-currency (bitcoin) account, mentioned in the threat messages to legislators, has been detected. Transactions of 1.60368338 bitcoins (Rs. 8.16 lakh) were done in this account. And the entire amount was later transferred to some other account,”
A total of six transactions, between 6.46 PM on May 2 and 4 AM on May 18, were done in the crypto-currency e-wallet during which bitcoin was received and sent through different e-wallets. One transaction each was done on May 2, 3, 4, and 18 and two transactions on May 17,”
In Mumbai, the police downplayed the possibility of Budesh’s involvement. The last known threat that Budesh made in India was to filmmaker Rakesh Roshan in 2000, when Roshan launched his son Hrithik in the movie “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai”, said Mumbai Police. Budesh then wanted overseas rights for the film, which Roshan was not willing to give him. Budesh’s men shot Rakesh Roshan and injured him. The messages read,
“I am not here for long chats with you. I am Ali Budhesh Bhai. If you want safety of yourself and family then arrange for Rs 10 lakh within three days. I know you won’t arrange for money until you will one of your family members dead. My man is near you, don’t waste time,”
Additional director general, law and order, Anand Kumar, said a special investigation team has been formed under the supervision of the inspector general of the STF Amitabh Yash to probe the threats. Spokesperson of UP Government, Shrikant Sharma said,
“Investigation will be done at all levels and no one will be spared if found guilty.”
A senior police officer on condition of anonymity,
“Budesh since then has not made any calls to India. We are in the know of the person who has called the legislators in Uttar Pradesh. But the caller looks to be an impersonator and is not Ali Budesh,”
In another news of Bitcoin fraud and extortion, last week, a businessman from Southeast Delhi was duped of approximately Rs 91 lakh after being promised to be offered bitcoins from an international exchange firm.
KryptoMoney.com publishes latest news and updates about Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology ,Cryptocurrencies and upcoming ICO’s.