Bitcoin Scam: SIT Records Convict’s Statement at Hindalga Jail in Belagavi

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has recorded the statement of a murder convict at Hindalga jail in Belagavi on July 9 in connection with a bitcoin scam.

The convict, Nagendra, had written to the SIT chief offering to give his testimony in the scam case as he was present during the commission of the crime at Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru.

Nagendra wrote to the SIT chief, alleging that while he was lodged in Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru, police and prison officials had smuggled a laptop to hacker Srikrishna Ramesh, alias Sriki, to enable him to transfer bitcoins.

In the letter, he claimed that he had been warned not to talk about the bitcoin transfer, allegedly by the Director General of Police (DGP).

Nagendra alleged that on January 16, 2021, a laptop was smuggled to Srika to transfer bitcoins worth Rs 200 million to the digital wallet of the inmate, who is the son of a popular jewellery shop owner and a friend of Srika.

According to sources, Nagendra claims to know how exactly the transaction was carried out in the jail and which prison official was responsible for it.

The Bitcoin scam involving Sriki and his associates has been at the centre of a political controversy in Karnataka, where the Congress alleges that top BJP leaders, in power when the hacker was arrested, in cahoots with police officers to receive bribes in cryptocurrency. The Congress government has set up an SIT to investigate the alleged scam.

In a recent incident, the Karnataka High Court had declared as “illegal” the invocation of the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA), 2000, against hacker and prime accused Sriki in the first case registered in 2017.

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