K’taka: Confusion over who is investigating Bitcoin Mafia case


Team Udayavani, Oct 29, 2021, 11:32 AM IST

Bengaluru: Contradicting statements by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minster Araga Jnanendra have led to serious confusion over who is probing the bitcoin and drug scam.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramiah and other Congress leaders had leveled allegations that the case was being swept under the rug due to the involvement of BJP leaders in the case.

“The state-level investigations are over. We have handed over the case to ED and CBI. No one will be spared. Action will be taken against the guilty,” Bommai was quoted as saying by news agency UNI.

In an apparently contradictory statement, Jnanendra had said the investigation was not being conducted by the regular police but by CoD (Corps of Detectives). Taking a dig at Siddaramaiah, Jnanendra said instead of tweeting on the issue, the former chief minister should come forward and share the information with the investigating authorities to book the culprits.

The guilty will be apprehended and punished, even if the culprits are BJP or Congress politicians, Jnanendra added.

In 2020, Srikanth a.k.a Sriki was apprehended by City Crime Branch (CCB) officers in connection with drug peddling. During questioning the bitcoin scandal came to light and led to police confiscating 31 bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore. The CCB had submitted the charge sheet in the case in March 2021.

An IANS report said the case is being presently investigated by the special team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The agency is preparing to submit a preliminary charge sheet in the case. The charge sheet mentions that bitcoins were used to purchase drugs from the darknet and that Sriki allegedly supplied bitcoins to VVIP customers.

A report in the Indian Express published on October 28, said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating illegal wealth earned by a 25-year-old hacker involved in multiple cybercrimes in Bengaluru – including the siphoning of Rs 11.5 crore of funds from the e-procurement cell of the Karnataka e-governance center last year.

The same report further said, “in August, the ED had reported attachment of Rs 1.44 crore of funds parked in the account of a UP firm Nimmi Enterprises from the Rs 11.5 crore that was stolen by hacking the Karnataka e-procurement cell in 2020.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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