Additional director general of Police (ADGP) Manish Karbikar will head the SIT
State minister Priyank Kharge said the government has already undertaken two to three probes across various departments in the matter
The case surfaced after the arrest of Srikrishna, who is said to have allegedly hacked the state e-procurement website and also used Bitcoins to purchase drugs on the dark web
The Congress government in Karnataka has ordered a probe into the Bitcoin scam that was uncovered during the tenure of the previous BJP government.
As part of this, the state government has formed a special investigation team (SIT) which will be led by additional director general of Police (ADGP) Manish Karbikar.
“Karnataka government orders an SIT probe into the Bitcoin scam. Bengaluru Commissioner B Dayananda had asked the government to order a CID probe into the matter. ADGP Manish Karbikar to head the probe,” Karnataka Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara told news agency ANI.
State minister Priyank Kharge said that the government has already undertaken two to three probes across various departments.
This comes a week after Chief Minister Siddaramiah said that irregularities and scams that took place during the previous government would be investigated.
Meanwhile, Dayananda said that there is a ‘suspicion’ that the alleged scam involved a national and an international network. He added that the scam was perpetrated using high-end technological methodologies.
As per Dayananda, one phase of the investigation has already been completed and further probe into the matter is currently underway. He said the next stage of the probe is expected to look into the involvement of more networks in the scam, adding that the systems were hacked in an expert manner.
“They (hackers) have also hacked the government’s e-procurement portal. So, an organised investigation was required,” the Commissioner said.
How The Case Came To Light?
At the centre of the row is a man named Srikrishna Ramesh, who was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in a drug peddling case. During his arrest, the Crime Branch also reportedly seized 31 Bitcoins appraised at INR 9 Cr then.
As the case unfolded, it emerged that he used Bitcoins to allegedly purchase drugs on the dark web. In the aftermath, it was also reported that the Bitcoins were recovered by the Police but the CCB later recanted the recovery saying Srikrishna had misled the agency.
During the investigation, the accused also reportedly accepted that he hacked Karnataka government’s e-procurement site and siphoned off more than INR 11.5 Cr.
Afterwards, the BJP and Congress fought pitched battles publicly, with the latter alleging the involvement of the then state ministers in the scam.