New Delhi : The Congress on Saturday alleged that the “biggest ever” scam in cryptocurrency ‘Bitcoin’ was “covered-up” by the Karnataka Government, with former party president Rahul Gandhi saying the cover-up was bigger than the scam. The grand old party sought a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry in the alleged scam.
“Bitcoin Scam is big. But Bitcoin Scam Cover-up is much bigger. Because it has to cover up someone’s fake big ego,” Rahul posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned why alleged Bitcoin hacker Srikrishna Ramesh was kept in police custody for 100 days and not arrested immediately.
“Srikrishna was kept in police custody for 100 plus days by repeatedly arresting him in at least five criminal cases registered one after the other,” Surjewala said.
He said the accused was arrested on November 17, 2020, remanded for 14 days; arrested on December 2, 2020, remanded to 12 days custody; arrested on December 14, 2020, remanded to 14 days custody; Crime No 45 of 2020 arrested and in custody for 14 days; and in Crime No 9 of 2019, in which he was arrested and sent to custody for 14 days.
“On April 17, 2021, Srikrishna was released on bail from police custody. He made a voluntary statement before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru in December, 2020. Despite multiple international crimes of significant magnitude, Interpol was not informed for over five months. Only on April 24, 2021, more than five months after the initial arrest, did the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru write to Interpol Liaison Officer (CBI), asking to inform Interpol and other agencies,” he said.
“This is not a money laundering crime alone, this is an international crime. Considering how shoddily and compromised the investigation has been done, I don’t think that the ED (Enforcement Directorate) or Karnataka Police can do a fair job. That is why we demand that an SIT (special investigation team) should be set up and monitored by the Supreme Court which should investigate this case and bring out the truth,” Surjewala said.
He also said Krishna, in his voluntary statement, claimed to have hacked into the E-Procurement site of the Government of Karnataka in May/June 2019 with access to bidder information and all files relating to the ongoing bids.
“The “Operation Coverup”, “Concealment”, “Deception”, “Intrigue”, “Whitewash”, raises serious questions on the corridors of power in Karnataka! The silence of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah on the entire issue is even more shocking, despite the fact that Chief Minister met the PM and HM on November 11, 2021,” he said.
“What is the role and responsibility of Chief Minister Shri Basavaraj Bommai? Who was the Home Minister in charge at the relevant time, and others in the State Government?,” Surjewala questioned.
The Congress also questioned why the Interpol was not informed of the “gigantic offence with clear international ramifications”.