A sessions court in Ahmedabad Monday declared former BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya proclaimed offender in connection with a bitcoin extortion case amounting Rs 9.95 crore. The court also issued an arrest warrant against another co-accused Jatin Patel.
Kotadiya, the former MLA from Dhari, has been absconding ever since his name has cropped up in the case of abduction of a Surat-based builder and the extortion of Bitcoin worth crores from him.
He is alleged to have been involved in the crime for which he allegedly received money from the other accused. He has been accused of being one of conspirators behind the kidnapping and extortion in February in Gandhinagar.
The state CID (crime), which is probing the case, had moved court after Kotadiya failed to turn up despite repeated summons and attempts to trace him.
A team of policemen from Amreli, led by police inspector Anant Patel, abducted Surat builder Shailesh Bhatt, his friend Kirit Paladiya and Bhatt’s driver in Gandhinagar and kept them in illegal confinement. Later, probe revealed that it was all planned by Kirit Paladiya with the help of policemen, including Amerli SP Jagdish Patel, who has also been arrested.
Paladiya had kept 119 Bitcoins worth nearly Rs 9 crore in his digital wallet which actually belonged to Bhatt since the former knows how to trade in cryptocurrency.
On the day of abduction, Paladiya portrayed as if the Bitcoins have been transferred to accused policemen. After the incident, CID has revealed, Paladiya shared the amount with the accused. “From the beginning, the accused persons had hatched the conspiracy and had kidnapped Shailesh Bhatt to forcefully get Bitcoins as well as monitory benefits.
Accused Kirit Paladiya, Ketan Patel, Jatin Patel and Nalin Kotadiya had gathered at Circuit House in Surat and had conspired to kidnap Shailesh Bhatt and Ketan Patel. They had spoken to Superintendent of Police Jagdish Patel… According to the plan and part of conspiracy, Shailesh Bhatt was kidnappned…” CID has stated in its application moved in the court for issuance of arrest warrant.
Subsequently, in an interesting turn of events, the CID-Crime last month said that it has lodged an FIR against the complainant, Shailesh Bhatt, for allegedly abducting on Dhaval Mavani and extorting over Rs 155 crore worth cryptocurrencies and cash on gun-point. Mavani was running a ponzi-like scheme in cryptocurrency in Surat.
According to the CID-Crime, days before he was allegedly abducted by some policemen from Amreli Local Crime Branch unit in mid February and forced to shell out Bitcoins worth Rs 10 crore in a conspiracy hatched by his close aide, Kirit Paladiya, Bhatt had allegedly abducted two associates of a firm “Bit Connect” and extorted Bitcoins and cash worth over Rs 155 crore from them.