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Updated on: Friday, October 29, 2021, 04:55 PM IST

Karnataka bitcoin scandal: As government set to hand over probe to ED or CBI, know more about the case here

The case took a political turn as opposition Congress alleged that the government is hushing up the scandal  | Pixabay

The case took a political turn as opposition Congress alleged that the government is hushing up the scandal | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai government is all set to handover the investigation into the bitcoin mafia to either Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Enforcement Directorate (ED). The move comes after charges being levelled by the opposition in connection with bitcoin mafia and involvement of BJP leaders in drug peddling.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday alleged that politicians and officials were involved in a Bitcoin scam in the state and that the investigation agencies are trying to safeguard them. "Now they're saying they (CM) have referred it to Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). That means there must be something hidden. I don't know more about it, I'm gathering information," he added.

The Bitcoin scandal

As per reports, the Central Crime Branch of Bengaluru city police arrested Sri Krishna, who was accused of procuring narcotics from the dark web in November 2020.

The CCB claimed to have uncovered his involvement in several cybercrimes, including ransomware attacks on gaming and other websites and swindling money from several websites, including those of the Government of Karnataka. The police seized 31 bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore. Allegations have now surfaced that ₹10,000 crore worth transactions in bitcoins were covered up and this involved two high-profile politicians.

The case is being presently investigated by the special team of Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The agency is preparing to submit a preliminary charge sheet in the case. During investigations the bitcoin scandal came up. The CCB had submitted charge sheet in the case in March, 2021. The case was handed over to CID for further investigations.

The CCB has initiated action on three bitcoin exchange agencies and 10 poker websites. The CCB sleuths have given inputs regarding hacking to Interpol and also recommended to ED for seizure of property.

Political war of words

The case took a political turn as opposition Congress alleged that the government is hushing up the scandal as it involves some of its powerful politicians. The Congress challenged that, if the truth came out, many will 'lose their chairs'.

Ramalinga Reddy, former Home minister and executive committee member of the Congress has demanded a judicial probe. "Two influential leaders are hand in glove in bitcoin scandal involving drugs. The scandal involves as many as Rs 10,000 crore transactions. The case is being hushed up by the BJP in Karnataka. Why was there so much delay in arresting accused Sriki. If the truth comes out, many BJP leaders will lose their chairs, he stated.

Even state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar has said that bitcoin scandal involves police, politicians, industrialists and the BJP wants to close the case. "Closing cases is the strength of BJP", he chided.

Reacting to the allegations, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated that a detailed investigation is underway on the case and there was no question of protecting any person, however influential he is.

State Home Minister Araga Jnanendra stated that this is a serious case and political leaders should rise above party politics on the issue. There are allegations against the police department and without mercy action will be taken, he added.

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Published on: Friday, October 29, 2021, 04:55 PM IST
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