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Bitcoin Extortion Case: FIR Against 10 Gujarat Policemen

In a pre-dawn operation on Sunday, teams of Gujarat CID Crime raided the residences of nine policemen in Amreli. While two were found and were apprehended. The others, including Amreli inspector Anant Patel, were not found and have been declared absconders.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:April 9, 2018, 2:53 PM IST
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Bitcoin Extortion Case: FIR Against 10 Gujarat Policemen
Police inspector Anant Patel is the main accused in the case.
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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat CID (Crime) has filed an FIR against 10 policemen, including the inspector of Amreli’s local crime branch, in the sensational bitcoin extortion case that surfaced a fortnight ago.

Investigation by CID Crime has established that that three people were abducted and wrongfully restrained by the cops, but there is no evidence so far to substantiate the complainant’s claim that 200 bitcoins worth Rs 12 crore were forcibly transferred from his wallet.

In a pre-dawn operation on Sunday, teams of Gujarat CID Crime raided the residences of nine policemen in Amreli. While two were found and were apprehended. The others, including Amreli inspector Anant Patel, were not found and have been declared absconders.

Additional DGP (CID Crime) Ashish Bhatia said that there is evidence to show that the inspector and other cops abducted Surat builder Shailesh Bhatt. There is also evidence to prove that government vehicles were used in the crime and that Bhatt was kept at Keshav Farm House at Chiloda near Gandhinagar in February this year.

“However, there is no evidence yet of bitcoins worth Rs 12 crore being transferred from Shailesh Bhatt’s wallet or from the wallet of his business partner Kirit Padaliya. We have formed a SIT that will investigate all the aspects of this case,” the top cop said on Sunday.

Bhatt is a Surat-based builder who is known to be involved in trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. His business partner Paladiya is said to have told him that he was under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for dealing in bitcoins. On February 11, Paladiya called Bhatt for a meeting in Gandhinagar, while they were talking, a couple of police jeeps arrived and both Bhatt and Paladiya were abducted.

Bhatt, in his application before the police, said that he was beaten up by Anant Patel and other policemen and illegally confined. He also stated in his application that he was forced to transfer 200 bitcoins from the digital wallet of Paladiya.

In his application, Bhatt also said that he was forced to pay Rs 32 crore for being released from confinement. None of these allegations have yet been proven by the police in its investigation.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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