As per new reports, CID crime is now investigating two bitcoin extortion-related kidnappings. The kidnappings supposedly occurred in mid-2017 and February 2018. Currently, the investigative authority is exploring the ways Shailesh Bhatt, kidnapped an individual, owned bitcoins which were looted by one police personnel from Amreli.
According to CID the other case involved three persons who duped an investment company in Surat of 750 bitcoins, Rs 40 crore, as income tax officers. A senior CID official said, “Apart from the bitcoins, the kidnappers also extorted another Rs 12 crore from a key person employed with Surat Investment Company.”
The kidnappers first picked up an office boy as they mistook his identity. CID said, “They realized their mistake after holding the guy for three days and beating him black and blue. Later they picked up the managing director of the company.” Officials also informed that Surat companies’ MD fled the country as soon as the heist occurred.
An investigator said, “However, sharing of the money among the kidnappers led to the story being leaked. The details somehow reached Amreli as the kidnappers belonged to the district. It is then that Amreli SP Jagdish Patel, police inspector Anant Patel and some politicians came into the picture. We are still probing whether the case is of plain extortion or a shakedown for extorted money.”
It is also being claimed that phone activity between Shailesh Bhatt and his partners, Ketan Patel, Kirit Paladiya, Anant Patel, etc., substantially amplified. The official continued, “During the probe, it has come to light that former BJP MLA from Dhari, Nalin Kotadiya, had called up Kirit Paladiya during the wee hours of February 11 to ask whether he is coming to Ahmedabad or not”.
On February 11, there was no bitcoin transaction from Bhatt’s wallet. But, few bitcoins were transferred from Paladiya’s wallet the same day, and he is being questioned by CID.
It was the same day when Shailesh Bhatt and Kirit Paladiya were supposedly abducted in Keshav’s farm for bitcoin extortion. CID also informed that advocate Ketan Patel and his brother Jatin Patel met inspector Anant Patel just before the kidnapping occurred.
An investigator said, “It is also clear that no bitcoins were transferred on that day. But prior to the alleged kidnapping of Shailesh Bhatt and after it, some bitcoins were certainly transferred from the e-wallet of Kirit Paladiya. Paladiya is being interrogated for the past three days.”
CID has not reported the whole case to ACB after discovering inventory from Amreli SP Jagdish Patel’s house. CID informed, “We have urged ACB to probe whether a case of disproportionate assets can be made out against Jagdish Patel or not. Subsequently, as it is an alleged case of transfer of money, Enforcement Directorate could also come into the picture.”
Scams related to digital currencies have been continuously emerging in India just after virtual coins were banned in the country. The CID claims that these cases are more than what meets the eye. As of now, it is conducting a probe into the matter and expects to come out with a logical explanation or even a connection between the two events.