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Police Officers Charged With Extorting 200 Bitcoins From a Businessman


The Crime Investigation Department (CID) from Gujarat, India, is investigating a case where 10 police officers are accused of having kidnapped and attempted to extort a businessman. They are accused of corruption after allegedly forcing a businessman to give them over 200 Bitcoins.

The CID branch in Gujarat has filed a first information report, this being the first step involved in conducting a police Inquiry in the country. According to the Times of India, 10 officials and an unnamed fixer are believed to have been involved. Nine constables and a police inspector in the local town, named Anant Patel, have been accused in this case.

Tortured to Submission

These police officials are alleged to have kidnapped local residents, Kirit Paladaya, Shailesh Bhat and a driver, only referred to as Mahipal. These three are believed to have been taken to a farmhouse, beaten, and forced to transfer the 200 Bitcoins, according to another report from the Ahmedabad Mirror. Based on the current prices, the amount involved in his case would be around $1.3 million.

In order to retrieve his Bitcoins, the Mirror reports that Bhatt had to contract and pay a third party. An initial investigation could not yield any meaningful results in terms of verifying that the 200 Bitcoins were actually transferred to Patel from Bhat. As such, the police saw the need to examine the wallets for both citizens in order to prove these allegations. He added:

In his application, Shailesh Bhatt had mentioned the transfer of 200 Bitcoins worth Rs 12 crore ($1.8 million) from the digital wallet of his business partner, Kirit Paladiya. Another Rs 32 crore ($5 million) were allegedly paid for their release from a farmhouse. Later, Rs 78.5 lakh ($121,000) were allegedly paid to get the Bitcoins back. All these transactions mentioned in the application could not be proven.

Special Investigative Team to Take Over

In reference to the gravity of the matter, Bhatia said a special investigative team is being created to help unmask all the details of the case by fully investigating the matter. However, there has already been some progress noted as three of the constables have already been brought to book. However, the rest are still on the run, including Patel.

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