Author: Jagdish Kumar, India
In what is called India’s first Bitcoin extortion case, Gujarat state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have arrested a real estate developer, Shailesh Bhatt for allegedly extorting cash and Bitcoins from two persons.
Bhatt along with this two accomplice kidnapped Dhaval Mavani and Piyush Savalia posing as tax officials and had kept him till he did not transferred 2,256 bitcoins worth INR 1.3 billion ($ 19.28 million) into their account. Other than this, Bhat also transferred another 166 Bitcoins worth INR 10 million ($ 1.41 million) into their account.
Bhatt is the same person that has four months back filed a police complaint that he had paid INR 90 million ($1.32 million) against some Amreli Police officials.
Taking action on Bhat’s complain, the police then arrested Amreli Superintendent of Police Jagdish Patel while a former BJP legislator Nalin Kotadia is still on the run.
The police officer investigating the case said that Bhatt had made investment in a firm called Bit Connect, a local based firm that has the same name of US based company. He made around INR 20 million investment to get huge return.
However, the promoters shut down the company and went underground. To recover his money, both people working for the bankrupt company were kidnapped in which Bhat has made investments.
Looking at the ease of getting money and transferred to the account, Bhatt and his aides were running an underworld type extortion racket in Surat where people turned to virtual currencies to convert their black money during and after demonetization, CID (Crime) chief Ashish Bhatia said while registering the fresh case of extortion against Bhat and his aides.
Bhatia added that the Bitcoin extortion racket was set to get bigger as more people who invested in the hope of making quick bucks became victims of organized racket.
Image Credit: cryptocrooks.com