In one of the few cases, where the upholder of law turns criminal, Gujarat Police booked 11 people, including policemen for extorting a businessman of his bitcoin in Surat.
A Surat-based businessman Shailesh Bhatt accused a police inspector Anant Patel of abducting him and confining him at a farmhouse and forcing him to transfer 200 bitcoin from his mobile phone.
Following the complaint filed, and a preliminary investigation, the Gujarat police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against 11 accused. One of the names in the FIR is also that of a person who acted as a fixer between the victim and the policemen.
Additional DG Ashish Bhatia said, “We have formed a team to probe the high profile case.” However, he added that the team is yet to procure substantial evidence on the transaction as has been alleged by Bhatt.
However, this is neither the first nor the last case of people scamming or extorting bitcoin holders. Last week, known scammer Amit Bharadwaj, founder of GainBitcoin, a fraudulent website was arrested by the Bangkok police in collaboration with the Indian government for duping investors out of nearly Rs 2000 crore. At the time of reporting, there were nearly 8000 investors who had signed up on his website.
In March, a woman was duped out of $55,000 worth of bitcoin after sharing her identity credentials with an un-named firm. She had invested in 0.04 BTC, in a so-far unnamed firm. The firm allegedly had promised 12% monthly returns on investment through investments in five-star hotels. The ROIs reflected monthly in her account, which prompted her to put in all her savings in the firm.
She had told the Crime Bureau of Investigation, “I invested all my savings in the company along with my friends and family members.”
Although there are many scammers on the loose, and the Reserve Bank of India has clearly stopped banks from pursuing a relationship with cryptocurrency exchanges, it is heartening to know that law will favour the victim and not the criminal.
Liked what you read? Join us on Telegram