Bitcoin scam: SIT records statement of senior IPS officer | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Bitcoin scam: SIT records statement of senior IPS officer

BySharath Sharma Kalagaru, Bengaluru
Feb 22, 2024 08:34 AM IST

A SIT led by ADGP Manish Karbikar questioned senior IPS officer Sandeep Patil in connection with the Bitcoin scam

A special investigation team (SIT) led by additional director general of police (ADGP) Manish Karbikar questioned senior IPS officer Sandeep Patil on Wednesday in connection with the Bitcoin scam.

The bitcoins were initially seized from the prime suspects in the Bitcoin scam (REUTERS)
The bitcoins were initially seized from the prime suspects in the Bitcoin scam (REUTERS)

A few deputy commissioners of police (DCP) and 10 assistant commissioner of police(ACP) have also been questioned regarding the Bitcoin scam.

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A team of investigators inside the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Bengaluru recorded the statement of Sandeep Patil.

“I have been called for inquiry today and I just came out. It is part of the regular investigation process since I was the joint commissioner of crime, Bengaluru city when the alleged scam happened. So, I have been called for as part of routine procedure. There are about 10 ACPs, few DCPs and many have been questioned by SIT. It’s part of the investigation process,” Patil said.

When the alleged scam came to light, the Congress party had alleged that several senior IPS officers were involved in the scam on behalf of the then-ruling party politicians.

When asked about him being questioned a third time, Patil said “There are a lot of rumours going around in this case and many of them have zero legitimacy.”

When Hindustan Times tried to contact SIT chief, Manish Karbikar, the call went unanswered.

Recently, the SIT recorded magisterial statements under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of prime accused in the crypto scam Srikrishna alias Sriki and his close associate Robin Khandelwala.

The special investigation team of CID has been actively investigating the Bitcoin scandal in Karnataka.

The investigation found the involvement from various individuals, including police inspector Prashanth Babu and tech expert Santosh Kumar, who were found to have transferred bitcoins, which were seized during the investigation, into a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.

The exact value of the bitcoins involved is still under investigation.

The bitcoins were initially seized from Sriki, and Kandelwala, who are prime suspects in the Bitcoin scam.

Additionally, the remand report filed by the police indicated that Gagan Jain, a cyber security expert, and Sathvik V, director of Unocoin Technologies Private Limited, allegedly assisted in destroying crucial evidence related to the case.

The recent developments in the Bitcoin scam investigation have shed light on the involvement of various individuals, including Babu, Kumar, Jain, and Sathvik.

These individuals are accused of transferring bitcoins into a cryptocurrency hardware wallet and attempting to destroy vital evidence related to the case.

The investigation also uncovered an email sent by Sriki, one of the prime suspects, to a female friend while he was in police custody, raising questions about the handling of suspects during the investigation.

“SIT has accessed the email dump of Sriki during his time in Ashok Nagar police custody on January 22, 2021. In the email dump of Sriki, we have found that when Sriki was in Ashok Nagar police custody on January 22, 2021, he sent an email to a female friend explaining his situation in police custody. It is considered that Sriki was given a laptop, internet and a free hand to use them when in police custody for some ulterior motives,” the remand application said.

The SIT’s remand application has provided insights into the actions of the accused, highlighting their efforts to conceal evidence by erasing crucial details from bitcoin wallets and deleting bash history.

The investigation is ongoing, with authorities working to uncover the full extent of the scandal and bring those responsible to justice.

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