With the number of increasing online Bitcoin thefts, ending up with huge losses to the owner, now the Bitcoin theft scenario is doing the rounds again, this time in Gujarat, India.
An FIR has been filed against 10 police officers, including a superintendent of police (SP) and an inspector, for kidnapping and extortion of 200 Bitcoins (BTC) worth INR 13 crore from a Surat based businessman.
The operation is being carried out by The Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The businessman, Shailesh Bhatt, had filed a complaint with the CID alleging that the state Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer Sunil Nair threatened him over the phone and asked him to come to the Gandhinagar CBI office on February 9.
When he landed at the CBI office, Bhatt was allegedly beaten up in the torture room and asked to pay Rs 10 crore. After Bhatt pleaded with Nair, the ransom amount was fixed at Rs 5 crore, which was paid via a Hawala trader.
Bhatt describes in the complaint how after he was released he was later kidnapped and taken to a farm where he was forced to send 200 BTC (INR 13 crores) to former business partner Kirit Paladiya.
“They beat me up inside a room and threatened to kill me in a fake encounter if I did not hand over my Bitcoins. Amreli SP Jagdish Patel and Amreli inspector Anant Patel were involved. I was forced to transfer Rs 13 crore in Bitcoins to Paladiya’s account”
Bhatt also accused his former business partner Kirit Paladiya and ex-MLA Nalin Kotadiya of also being part of the plot.
“I contacted Paladiya post demonetisation in 2016 to invest my money. He advised me to invest in Bitcoins and knew about my investment,”
Three of the officers reportedly involved have been arrested, and Inspector Patel has ran away.
The Gujarat CID registered the FIR under several sections of the Indian Penal Code.
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