BJP leader Nalin Kotadiya in soup over Bitcoin extortion case
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BJP leader Nalin Kotadiya in soup over Bitcoin extortion case

Former MLA of Dhari in Amreli district, Nalin Kotadiya, has to defend himself in a bitcoin extortion case. The BJP leader name surfaced during the examination of accused persons, who were arrested by CID (crime). He asserted himself that he is innocent and in no way connected with the extortion case. The Gujarat police have filed an FIR against ten persons. This included local crime branch’s inspector. The extortion happened a few months ago, and the government directed an inquiry in February since policemen were involved.

Dragging Kotadiya

According to Kotadiya, Surat-based builder, Shailesh Bhatt, has dragged him into the bitcoin extortion controversy. He told the media that he is in public life and meet different people apart from talking to them on the phone. He believes that should not be construed as an act of his involvement in any criminal acts that the people he meets or talks on the phone commits. He termed as misinformation being spread about Kirit Paladiya’s alleged transfer of 200 bitcoins to Anant Patel, a local police inspector. This was also proved during the forensic examination.

Therefore, Kotadiya asked, “If the bitcoins were not transferred, the question that arises is where the money came from.” The former MLA believes that someone is trying to fabricate stories dragging his name into the extortion case only to hide the facts. He added, “Bhatt accepted that he was investing money from people affiliated with political parties. attempts are being made to fix me in the case and to protect them,”

The BJP leader indicated that he remained silent since the police were investigating the bitcoin extortion case. However, he came out in the open now because he feels that Bhatt could resort to destroying evidence. Kotadiya said that he came to know that Jagdish Patel, Amreli SP, was pressured to bring him into the case. In any case, he indicated that he is not afraid of any case and ready to face investigation from any agency. Incidentally, the BJP is the ruling party in the State where the case is going on.

More than two weeks ago, CID crime branch’s investigation established that three persons were not only abducted by the cops but were also wrongly restrained. However, there was no proof to authenticate the complainant’s charge of 200 bitcoins were forcibly transferred. This was valued about 120 million in local currency value. When the abduction happened, there was only one message from the government, i.e., it was not keen on promoting bitcoin. However, the Reserve Bank of India banned trading in cryptocurrencies in April first week.

Policemen Charged

The Surat-based businessman has accused the policemen of taking him to a farmhouse once he was kidnapped. There, Anant Patel was present and started beating him. Bhatt was forced to transfer bitcoins by the inspector after beating him. The accused also demanded an additional 32 million in local currency if he was to be released.

The craze for bitcoin has attracted even the criminals to ask for it rather than the currencies alone. That is because the identity of the persons holding such digital coin could not be traced.

Article written by George Samman

George Samman is a co-author of KPMG’s report: “Consensus: Immutable agreement for the Internet of value”. He is a cryptocurrency and blockchain consultant to financial institutions, policymakers, and professional services firms. To know more about George, follow him on Twitter.