The Congress on Saturday alleged that the country’s biggest bitcoin scam has taken place in Karnataka in connection with the arrest of an alleged hacker and the BJP government in the state is covering it up. Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in the matter and said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge should be constituted to probe the matter. There has been no response from the BJP or the Karnataka government on his allegation so far.
About a year ago, alleged hacker Srikrishna alias Sriki was arrested in Bengaluru. Bitcoins worth crores of rupees have been confiscated from him. Srikrishna is also accused of hacking government portals, ordering narcotics through the ‘darknet’ and making payments through cryptocurrencies.
Congress general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Surjewala told reporters, “This is the biggest bitcoin scam in India. Its wires are connected to 14-15 countries. There were conspiratorial attempts to cover up everything in this case. The NIA and other agencies were kept in the dark. The BJP government of Karnataka is trying to cover up the matter.
Surjewala claimed, “This alleged hacker made a statement before the Metropolitan Magistrate. He himself admitted that he hacked 8 times and admitted that he stole 5000 bitcoins, he did not give a lot of information.”
He released some documents claiming, “Bitcoins were transferred on two occasions on December 1, 2020 and April 14, 2021. During this period the alleged hacker Srikrishna was in the custody of Bengaluru Police. In this whole matter, serious questions arise on the people present in the power of Karnataka. Questions arise on the silence of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.”
According to Surjewala, Chief Minister Basavarao Bommai met Prime Minister Modi in the past and himself has said that he discussed the bitcoin scam during this meeting. “We want to ask the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Chief Minister and JP Nadda, who are the people behind the bitcoin scam?”
The Congress leader questioned, “Why was Interpol not informed? Why did the BJP government in Karnataka remain silent for five months after the alleged hacker was arrested in November, 2020? What is the role and responsibility of the Chief Minister as he was the Home Minister of the state at the time of this whole incident? Why were NIA, ED and other agencies and RBI not informed?”
The BJP government cannot investigate this, he said. This is an international bitcoin scam. A SIT should be constituted under the supervision of the sitting Supreme Court judge to investigate this. Interpol, representatives of other concerned agencies and Reserve Bank should also be involved in this investigation.