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Indian Police arrests Inspector for Extorting Bitcoin

Indian police have arrested one of the Amreli police station inspectors, Anant Patel, for his alleged role in extorting bitcoin from a Surat-based builder, Shailesh Bhatt. The builder was kidnapped to get the digital currency from him. The Gandhinagar police station has arrested the police inspector for his alleged role in it. Incidentally, the incident happened despite the Reserve Bank of India slapping a ban on the use or trading of any virtual currencies in the country.  However, the global community is still looking at the cryptocurrency.


The police have responded to a tip-off provided to them that the accused was seen Adalaj, DNA India reported. Officers in three teams have reached the spot and found Patel, Shaven and waited in the road as the accused was trying to flee. However, the police were able to nab the accused. The incident came on the back of nine police officials being booked on April 8 by CID Crime branch of Amreli police station for their alleged role in kidnapping a builder. The accused have extorted digital currency and cash from the builder.

Since police officers were involved in the kidnapping case, a special investigation team (SIT) was established to crack the case. The investigating agency registered a case against nine officials including Anant Patel and two constables, Babubhai Der and Vijay Vadher. Earlier on April 8, Ketal Patel was arrested by the SIT. The investigation agencies will look to get more details as to who are the others involved in the case thus suggesting that more arrests cannot be ruled out.

The State Government has directed its CID Crime branch to launch an inquiry in February. This came on the heels of Bhatt alleging that he was kidnapped from Gandhinagar by none other than the policemen themselves on February 9. The businessman has charged the policemen of taking him to a farmhouse after the kidnap. At the farmhouse, Patel was present and resorted to beating him.

After beating, the police inspector has forced Bhatt to transfer as much as 200 bitcoins that were worth about 12 million in Indian currency value. Aside from the transfer of the digital currency, the accused has demanded further 32 million in local currency for his release.

Ban Comes Into Force In April

At the time of kidnapping in February, there was only one hint from the government. That is when the finance minister, Arun Jaitley, indicated that bitcoin was not a legal tender in the country. This dragged down the trading activities in cryptocurrencies within the nation as investors were not ready to take more risks. Before the budget, bitcoin was trading close to 0.7 million in Indian currency and dropped to 0.4 million in local currency after the budget.

However, in April first week, the Reserve Bank of India has announced the ban on trading in any digital currencies in the country. This was a big setback to those who were expecting the relaxation of rules or tightening of screws to allow at least trading. This meant that arrested cops could have either sold before the ban came into force or would be waiting to route through unlawful means.

About the author


Prateek Kulhari

Prateek is a business editor who writes about various topics such as technology, health and finance. At Pressly, he works along with the colourful folks that build a nation through tech startups. He is also a professional football player and video games enthusiast.