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Indian policemen accused of kidnapping and extortion of 200 bitcoins

An Indian Police department has accused 10 of its own policemen for kidnapping and extortion of 200 bitcoins.

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the west-Indian state of Gujarat has filed a preliminary FIR (First Information Report) to start an investigation against 11 individuals including 10 policemen for allegedly kidnapping and forcing a wealthy civilian businessman, who trades bitcoin, to hand over 200 bitcoins in an extortion form.

The police department booked charges after receiving a complaint from Shailesh Bhatt, the victim. In it, Bhatt alleges police inspector Anant Patel and nine of his subordinate constables of using three police vehicles to abduct him, his business partner and his driver to a remote farm, detained and then beaten with the aim of transferring 200 bitcoins to the inspector. The victims were released later.

An early investigation has not been able to verify if the bitcoins were transferred from Shailesh Bhatt to the accused police inspector, according to CID director general Ashish Bhatia. The official also announced the formation of a special investigative unit to look into the case.

In his application, Shailesh Bhatt had mentioned the transfer of 200 Bitcoins worth Rs 12 crore from the digital wallet of his business partner, Kirit Paladiya. Another Rs 32 crore were allegedly paid for their release from a farmhouse. Later, Rs 78.5 lakh were allegedly paid to get the Bitcoins back.

Ashish Bhatia said that the policemen’s use of the department’s vehicles were unauthorized and that the digital wallets belonging to the victims and the suspected inspector will be looked into. The homes and offices of nine police officers were simultaneously raided while three of the 11 accused policemen have already been detained. A search is underway for the remaining officers.