SIT issues notice to IGP Patil in K’taka Bitcoin scam case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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SIT issues notice to IGP Patil in K’taka Bitcoin scam case

By, Bengaluru
May 15, 2024 08:00 AM IST

The Crime Branch initially claimed to have had recovered 31 bitcoins worth ₹9 cr from hacker Sriki. However, these Bitcoins could not be found.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Bitcoin scam in Karnataka has issued a notice to inspector general of police (IGP) Sandeep Patil, who was the head of the Central Crime Branch when the scam took place, and was questioned earlier this year, to provide clarifications on the probe conducted against the hacker during his tenure.

On Monday, the son of an ADGP, Rishab, was questioned by SIT officials regarding his involvement in the Bitcoin scam that occurred between 2016 and 2017 (File photo)
On Monday, the son of an ADGP, Rishab, was questioned by SIT officials regarding his involvement in the Bitcoin scam that occurred between 2016 and 2017 (File photo)

The first information report (FIR) registered by the SIT dated January 24 named four former crime branch officers - Sridhar Poojar (now a deputy superintendent of police), and inspectors Prashanth Babu, Chandradhar SR, and Lakshmikanthaiah. Additionally, a private cyber expert, KS Santhosh Kumar, who assisted in the 2020 investigation of the hacker’s case, has also been implicated.

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In court proceedings, the SIT argued against granting bail to Chandradhar, highlighting discrepancies in the Crime Branch’s investigation. The Crime Branch initially claimed to have had recovered 31 Bitcoins worth 9 crore from hacker Srikrishnna alias Sriki. However, these Bitcoin could not be found.

“The explanation for this missing 31 bitcoins given by the petitioner is that the accused had manipulated the Bitcoin core application and misled the investigation. However, the petitioner failed to investigate further into this aspect as to how, why and when the accused had tampered with the Bitcoin core application,” the SIT informed the court in March.

On Monday, the son of an additional director general of police (ADGP), Rishab, was questioned by SIT officials regarding his involvement in the Bitcoin scam that occurred between 2016 and 2017. Sriki is alleged to be the mastermind behind the scam, having traded 150 Bitcoins worth 5.5 crore through Robin Khandewala of Kolkata. During the same period, Rishab purchased a car from Friendly Automotives on Lavelle Road for 57 lakh and later returned the Porsche.

SIT officials said that Rishab received a cheque for 40 lakh during this period and questioned him about his involvement in Bitcoin trading. He has been accused of using illegal money acquired through bitcoin trading and has been called for further inquiry.

These developments come after the SIT on May 8 arrested Sriki in connection with a 2017 bitcoin case registered in Tumakuru district. Sriki was arrested on charges of stealing 60.6 Bitcoin worth 1.14 crore from the Tumakuru-based cryptocurrency exchange website in 2017.

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