In Karnataka, a year-old case involving a well-known high-profile hacker and his foray into Bitcoin and criminality has resurfaced. Srikrishna Ramesh, the main suspect in the case, is accused of buying narcotics using bitcoins on the dark web and selling them to high-profile customers. Sriki is also suspected of stealing more than Rs 11.5 crore from the Karnataka government’s e-procurement platform in 2019.
Srikrishna and his companions were detained in a drugs investigation by Bengaluru’s Central Crime Branch police in November 2020. Further research found that Srikrishna was also a hacker who committed cybercrimes such as ransomware attacks, hacking into bitcoin exchanges, looting cryptocurrencies, money laundering, and cyber fraud.
The Bitcoin controversy has devolved into a political dispute, with the Congress requesting an independent probe demanding explanations concerning the alleged loss of 31 Bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore recovered by Bengaluru police in January from a hacker by a Special Investigation Team overseen by the Supreme Court.
On Twitter, Congress national secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala chastised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence, claiming that the Karnataka BJP government was responsible for India’s largest ever “Bitcoin Scam Coverup.” The Congress has accused CM Bommai of turning a blind eye to the matter while he was the Karnataka Home Minister at the time.
Responding to this, Chief Minister Bommai stated that his government will take action against all individuals implicated in the fraud. He further stated that the ED is already conducting the probe and the CBI has taken it to Interpol as well. Bommai assured that those engaged are proved to have committed any fraud against the country, state, or any individual, the government will act harshly against them.