On Saturday, Congress alleged a multi-crore Bitcoin scam and cover-up by the BJP government in Karnataka and demanded that a Supreme Court-supervised SIT conduct an independent investigation into the matter.
Former party chief Rahul Gandhi argued that the scam is big, but the cover-up is much bigger.
On Twitter, he said: “The Bitcoin scam is big. But the Bitcoin scam cover-up is much bigger. Because it has to cover up someone’s big fake ego.”
The Bitcoin scam is big.
But the Bitcoin scam cover-up is much bigger.
Because it has to cover up someone’s big fake ego.
– Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 13, 2021
At a press conference, the general secretary and main spokesman for Congress, Randeep Surjewala, posed a series of six questions to the prime minister and asked what was the role of Karnataka’s chief minister, Basavaraj Bommai, who was the state’s interior minister. when the scam happened.
He asked why international investigative agencies, including Interpol, were not informed about the stolen Bitcoins.
“India’s largest ” Bitcoin Scam ” has been discovered in Karnataka. Rather than conducting a fair investigation, the Karnataka BJP government appears to be concerned about the ‘Operation Bitcoin Scam Cover-up’,” it alleged.
“This is not just a money laundering crime, it is an international crime. Considering how bad and compromised the investigation has been conducted, I do not think that the ED (Directorate of Execution) or the Karnataka Police can make a fair work. That is why we demand that a SIT (special investigation team) be created and monitored by the Supreme Court that must investigate this case and get the truth out, “said the leader of Congress.
Surjewala also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the case and claimed that the FBI informed the prime minister during his recent visit to the United States.
“It is an investigation of several countries and the truth must come to light. The government is in collusion or is working poorly in the investigation … There are doubts about the reputation of Basavaraj Bommai and his political career and his reputation are at stake. and that is why he must write to the government so that it becomes a SIT monitored by the SC to probe this, “he said.
Surjewala, along with party spokesman Gourav Vallabh, alleged that a suspected hacker, Sri Krishna, was arrested along with his partner Robin Khandelwal by Karnataka police on November 14 last year and was in police custody for more than 100 days by repeatedly arresting him. in at least five criminal cases registered one after another. He was released on bail on April 17 of this year.
He alleged that Sri Krishna made a voluntary statement before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru, sometime in December 2020, in which he allegedly gave the names of various foreign companies / portals that were hacked by him, and millions of dollars earned illegally.
Congressional leaders also alleged that Sri Krishna was involved in an alleged hack of Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency exchanges and websites including Bitfinex, registered in a prominent tax haven, the British Virgin Islands and reports suggest that he was hacked on 2 August 2016 and August 1, 2016. 20,000 bitcoins were stolen. However, in his voluntary statement, he admits to having taken 2000 Bitcoins.
He said that “ Whale Alert ” is a Twitter account that tracks large-scale cryptocurrency transactions and reflects that on December 1, 2020 and April 14, 2021, Bitcoins were transferred from the 2016 hack of the Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange. and its value comes out of USD 704.8 million USD (equivalent to Rs 5,240 crore).
“Despite multiple international crimes of significant magnitude, Interpol was not informed for more than five months. Only on April 24, 2021, more than five months after the initial arrest, the Bengaluru Police Commissioner wrote to the Liaison Officer of Interpol (CBI) asking to inform Interpol and other agencies. Even ED / CBI / SFIO were not informed by the Karnataka BJP government, “said Surjewala, adding that Bommai was the state’s interior minister between 20 August 2019 and July 28, 2021.
“Should the then Interior Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, be punished for failing to act on the case?” He asked, claiming that the fraud occurred under his supervision and while the defendant was in custody.
“Who are the actors in the ‘Bitcoin cover-up scam’? Were the stolen bitcoins from the purported hacker Sri Krishna’s wallet transferred? How many bitcoins and of what value? How then does the Bengaluru police suggest (in their third Panchnama dated January 22, 2021) that the 31 and 186 Bitcoins allegedly transferred to the police wallet were lost or found to be fake transactions, “he asked.
He also asked what was the role and responsibility of Bommai and others in the state government.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)