Last month, a high-profile abduction and bitcoin extortion case from Surat, made the rounds when it emerged that most of the accused involved were policemen.
Apparently, this was not an isolated case. Given the priority of the case, it was taken over by the Crime Investigation Department (CID). The CID is now investigating, how Shailesh Bhatt, the Surat-based businessman came into the possession of the bitcoins. The abduction that took place in February this year is tied to an earlier case of kidnap and extortion of bitcoins that happened sometime in 2017.
The CID said that, in the earlier case, three persons impersonating income tax officers had extorted around 750 bitcoins worth Rs 400 cores from an investment company based in Surat.
Commenting on the earlier case, 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.”
According to a TOI report, the kidnappers had picked up an office boy from the company and detained him for three days. The office boy was beaten up and then eventually let go, after the kidnappers realised their mistake. Later, the investigators picked up the managing director of the company. CID officials said the MD of the Surat company had left the country long ago after investors losing their money in his company. However, the sharing of the money among the kidnappers led to the story being leaked. Those details reached the Amreli district as that is where the kidnappers belong to.
It was then, that Superintendent of Police (SP) Jagdish Patel, police inspector Anant Patel and some other politicians came into the picture.
The CID investigator 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”.
He added that this was the day when Bhatt and Paladiya were allegedly abducted and taken to a farm house.
An invesigator said, no bitcoins were transferred from Bhatt’s wallet on the same day (February 11). However, before the alleged kidnapping, some bitcoins were transferred from Kirit Paladiya’s wallet. Paladiya is currently being questioned he added.
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