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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

ED probing Bitcoin ‘irregularities’, will take action against those found guilty: Basavaraj Bommai

Trying to hit back at Congress, Basavaraj Bommai also said, "We are the ones who had first exposed this case."

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: November 14, 2021 2:51:16 pm
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj BommaiKarnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (file photo)

A day after Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala demanded that an independent investigation be conducted into the alleged Bitcoin scam in Karnataka by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT), Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is already conducting a probe and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken the matter to Interpol as well.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Bommai said, “All the necessary information has been provided for these (ED and CBI) agencies. We will crack down on those involved in the Bitcoin issue. There is no question of sparing anyone who is involved.”

He added, “Our government’s stance is very clear. We are the ones who had first exposed this case. It is our government which recommended the ED and CBI to probe the case. If those involved are found to have perpetrated any fraud against the interests of the country, state or any individuals, we will act mercilessly against them.”

Reacting to the questions raised by Surjewala, who is also the AICC in-charge of Karnataka, Bommai said, “We have replied to his six questions. If the case had a Karnataka connection since 2016, why did their own government not probe the case back then? Why did the then Congress CM and ministers not pay attention to it? They released Sri Krishna, who was an accused and had been arrested. They could have acted seriously even when the accused sought anticipatory bail. Why are you (Congress) raising all the questions with us after deliberately allowing the case to blow up? We need not learn lessons from those who allowed the accused to go scot-free.”

Bommai also said that if Congress leaders have any important documents in connection with the case, they hand should these over to the ED. “Surjewala’s efforts to project the issue as a major scam reflects his intellectual bankruptcy. It is not appropriate for the spokesperson of a national party to indulge in such an act just based on what is on Twitter. He should speak with circumstantial evidence,” Bommai said.

Replying to questions on confusions about the seized Bitcoins, the CM said that Sri Krishna had claimed that a Bitcoin exchange account was his own personal account.

On Saturday, Surjewala had held a press conference in Delhi and targeted Bommai, pointing out that he was the state home minister when the case came to light last year. The Congress said that Sri Krishna was arrested in November 2020 and was kept in police custody for 100 days before being released on bail in April this year.

Surjewala alleged that instead of conducting a fair investigation, the state government was trying to “cover up” the scam.

“Bitcoin scam is big. But Bitcoin scam cover-up is much bigger. Because it has to cover up someone’s fake big ego,” senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted.

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