scorecardresearch
Monday, Nov 28, 2022

Karnataka: Congress demands SIT probe into Bitcoin ‘irregularities’

The Congress said the accused, 26-year-old Sri Krishna, was arrested in November 2020 and was kept in police custody for 100 days before he was released on bail in April this year.

"Bitcoin Scam Cover-up is much bigger. Because it has to cover up someone’s fake big ego," Rahul Gandhi tweeted. (File Photo)

Alleging that the BJP government in Karnataka is trying to cover-up what it called a “multi-crore Bitcoin scam”, the Congress on Saturday demanded that an independent investigation be conducted into the matter by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) with experts from multiple agencies.

The party targeted Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai pointing out that he was the Home Minister when the case came to light last year. The Congress said the accused, 26-year-old Sri Krishna, was arrested in November 2020 and was kept in police custody for 100 days before he was released on bail in April this year.

“But despite multiple international crimes of significant magnitude, Interpol was not informed for over five months. Only on April 24, 2021 did the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru write to Interpol Liaison Officer (CBI) asking to inform Interpol and other agencies. Even ED/CBI/SFIO were not informed by the Karnataka BJP government. The Enforcement Directorate enquired about the case through a letter dated February 15, 2021 and was informed of one crime by the Karnataka government on March 3, 2021,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference.

He said that instead of conducting a fair investigation, the state government appeared to be preoccupied with covering it up.

“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 tweeted.

The Congress asked several questions to the government including: who were the actors behind the “operation coverup”?; whether the Bitcoins recovered from the accused were transferred and why did the Bengaluru Police initially admit to seizing the Bitcoins and later back out.

“Were the stolen Bitcoins transferred from the wallet of alleged hacker Sri Krishna? How many Bitcoins and of what value? How does the Bengaluru police then suggest (in its third Panchnama dated January 22 2021) that the 31 and 186 Bitcoins allegedly transferred to police wallet were lost or were found to be fake transactions?” Surjewala asked.

Subscriber Only Stories
ExplainSpeaking | A profile of Gujarat’s economy before electionsPremium
Small is good: Mudra loan NPAs at just 3.3% in 7 yearsPremium
Amid uncertainty, falling risk appetite, India fared better than major ec...Premium
‘It’s a new virus, it’s still evolving, still adapting. We still ne...Premium

“What is the role and responsibility of the Chief Minister Bommai, who was the Home Minister in charge at the relevant time and others in the State Government? Why was Interpol not informed despite such gigantic offences with clear international ramifications? Why did the BJP Government wait for over five months to write to Interpol and that also after the release of Sri Krishna. Why were NIA/SFIO/ED not informed by the Karnataka Government?”, he asked.

First published on: 13-11-2021 at 08:40:14 pm
Next Story

Schools for all to reopen in phased manner: West Bengal Education Minister

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close