Amid political pressure over alleged bitcoin scam in Karnataka, hacker arrested – over brawl

A pile of coins representing the Bitcoin cryptocurrency | Photo: Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg archive photo

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Bangalore: Days after political pressure began to build up on Basavaraj Bommai’s government over an alleged multi-million dollar bitcoin scam, the main defendant in the case – Srikrishna – was arrested on Saturday by the Bengaluru police.

While Srikrishna aka Sriki is on bail in several cases – ranging from attempted murder, cybercrime, cryptocurrency thefts and drug trafficking – he was arrested on Saturday for a brawl at a luxury hotel.

Srikrishna’s arrest comes at a time when the opposition in Karnataka accused the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of being involved with the accused and of trying to protect the big names from the alleged multicrore bitcoin fiasco.

“We registered a complaint against Srikrishna and his friend Vishnu based on the complaint of the service manager of a hotel in Bangalore. Charges of wrongful restraint, trespassing and willful injury have been filed against the accused, ”SD Sharanappa, DCP (East), told ThePrint. “It was found that the defendants were taking drugs. We put them for medical tests and the results confirmed that they had used drugs, ”the DCP added.

Srikrishna’s criminal activities of hacking cryptocurrency exchanges, international banks, private and government companies, and portals to steal funds outside of other cybercrimes became evident in 2020 when he was arrested in a case of drug. The second accused arrested by Bengaluru police on Saturday has been identified as the son of an owner of a popular jewelry chain in southern India.

The government of Karnataka is would have consider transferring all cases involving Sriki, 25, to CID.


Read also : What is the bitcoin scam and who is the 25-year-old who put the BJP government in Karnataka in one place


The BJP government under fire from the opposition

BJP sources told ThePrint that the noise around the alleged cryptocurrency crime has put state leaders in a blemish.

In an imputation sheet deposit in another chief metropolitan court earlier this year, the Central Directorate of Crime (CCB) Police claimed Srikrishna confessed to hacking several influential social media accounts, breaking into government portals, bitcoin exchanges, etc.

“While in police custody, Srikrishna told police officers that he had private keys in his cloud account that he could use to transfer the bitcoins he had stolen to authorities for seizure,” an officer told The Print. IG rank aware of the investigation. “In such cases, the authorities must treat the booty as ‘perishable’. A recovery must be made and presented to the court, permission must be sought from the court to monetize the loot and return it to the rightful owners. This did not happen in this case, ”said the officer.

While CCB police initially claimed that 31 bitcoins had been recovered from Srikrishna, the claim was took of.

Politically, congressional leaders alleged that senior BJP leaders “took advantage” of the hacker. KPCC Chairman DK Shivakumar has called for a judicial inquiry into the case.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka Siddaramaiah – the first politician to raise the issue of an alleged bitcoin scam in the state – has continuously attacked the government demanding answers on the status of bitcoins allegedly held by the accused.

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)


Read also : Gangs of Bengaluru: Sunil “Silent”, Ajith “Malayali” and the dark belly of the IT capital of India


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