Nalin Kotadiya, the former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Dhari, was arrested by the police in Maharashtra late on Sunday. Kotadiya was wanted by the Gujarat police in the abduction case of Surat-based businessman Shailesh Bhatt, where the latter was also extorted out of 176 bitcoin.
Kotadiya had been on the run, ever since his name had cropped up during the interrogation of another suspect Kirit Paladiya, who was reportedly Shailesh Bhatt’s partner and the alleged mastermind in the case.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) Gujarat had issued several summons against him and he had not responded to a single one. The CID, then moved an Ahmedabad-based court seeking him. The court then, gave a nod, and declared Kotadiya as a proclaimed offender, news portal DNA reported.
Earlier, we had reported on how the former BJP MLA figured in this whole case. It should be noted that Kotadiya had called Bhatt’s partner Kirit Paladiya before they were abducted. An investigator had said, “A lot of phone calls had started between Shailesh Bhatt, his partner Kirit Paladiya, Ketan Patel, Anant Patel and others. 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.”
A senior official had told Times of India, “Kotadiya is named as accused with the then Amreli SP Jagdish Patel and Amreli LCB PJ Anant Patel. The duo along with nine other accused have been arrested by Gujarat CID, while Kotadiya was declared an absconder in the case.”
Although Bhatt had named a lot of people in his abduction case, the builder himself wasn’t free of guilt either. Post demonetization, he had sought to convert his black money into bitcoin through a now-closed company, BitConnect. However, when he did not receive his returns, he abducted employees of BitConnect to get back his stash.
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