Cases of cryptocurrency scam have been increasing day by day in India. While RBI and Supreme Court are showing no mercy in allowing the virtual money trading, fraud cases related to bitcoin have become rife in the country.
As of now political parties in India have been blaming each other for scams on numerous occasions but it is the first instance when a ruling political party is under scanner over alleged bitcoin scam.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Indian National Congress, the opposition party of India has claimed that a bitcoin scam of over Rs 5,000 crore has been committed under the table of ruling party BJP in Surat, Gujarat.
Some local news reports have estimated the value of illegalities to be Rs 88,000 crore.
The report further added that Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil blamed the state’s top BJP leadership for being involved in conversion of black money through hawala transactions.
According to him, BJP leader and former MLA Nalin Kotadiya (absconding) is also involved in the case.
Demanding a Supreme Court-monitored judicial probe into the multi-crore scam, Gohil alleged that demonetisation was used by the BJP as a cover-up to convert its black money into white and now Bitcoin is being used for the same.
On the other hand, BJP has denied the allegations saying that this is an attempt by Congress to spread confusion and lies.
BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni said that action against nine policemen, including an IPS officer, has been taken in the case and the probe is on. The state police has formed a special investigation team to look into the crime.
What is the case?
The incident came to light when Shailesh Bhatt, a builder based out of Surat, wrote to Gujarat’s junior Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja in February, alleging that Amreli Police had extorted bitcoins worth Rs 12 crore from him.
Reacting to the case, Jadeja forwarded the complaint to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) where it was found that Bhatt himself was an extortionist.
Two years ago Bhatt had invested in a company named ‘Bit Connect Investment Company’ steered by Satish Kumbhani which later shut down in December 2017. To recover his money, Bhatt along with his accomplices had made two extortions.
According to DGP Ashish Bhatia CID (Crime) who is looking into the case, Bhatt had extorted bitcoins worth Rs 155.21 crore from others before he was kidnapped by the Amreli Police.
The agency has registered a fresh case to book Bhatt and others, including Superintendent of Police (SP) Jagdish Patel and Police Inspector Anant Patel. Former BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya is also an accused in the case.