Karnataka minister slams Congress over Bitcoin scam allegations | Latest News India | #computerhacking | #hacking

Bengaluru: Hitting back at the Congress over its allegation that senior BJP leader were involved in ‘Bitcoin scam’, Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra on Wednesday claimed that it was Congress leaders are the ones who are involved in such scam. This comes even as Karnataka chief minister denies knowledge of any scam involving cryptocurrency.

Talking to reporters Jnanendra on Wednesday denied Congress’ accusation of the opposition that the ruling BJP is shielding influential people in the case. “Hacker Sriki was caught in an incident in UB City (a popular mall) in 2018. Why did the then CM Siddaramaiah not get him arrested? Why did he not arrest and hold an inquiry when two Congress leaders were caught along with third children,” he said without elaborating on the allegation.

“When we caught Sriki in the drugs scandal, we came to know that he is involved in the Bitcoin scam also. So we have recommended an inquiry by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Interpol,” he added.

It was an ED probe into an 11-month-old case in Bengaluru involving a cryptocurrency hacker Sri Krishna alias Sriki that snowballed into a political controversy with the Opposition accusing the ruling BJP of a cover-up last week. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah told the media that two influential politicians were involved and there was an attempt to cover up their role in the case.

25-year-old Srikrishna had allegedly hacked into three bitcoin exchanges, multiple online poker applications, and one government e-procurement website. Bitcoins worth 9 crore were recovered from him, which he had either stolen using data theft or through online extortion. He is also accused in the case of stealing 11 crore from the e-procurement portal.

Srikrishna was caught on November 18 after police arrested some drug dealers, to whom he had allegedly sold drugs procured from the dark web. Srikrishna graduated in computer science from a college in Amsterdam in the Netherlands in 2017. A senior police officer said Srikrishna would encrypt data and demand payment from owners for the site to be unlocked by attacking the sites online, apart from using cryptocurrency for money laundering.

Srikrishna was questioned recently by the ED in connection with a case registered earlier this year by the agency into the alleged hacking of accounts of bitcoin holders between 2018 and 2020, and the encashment of the bitcoins by the hawala route after-sale to third parties.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Siddaramiah has demanded that chief minister Basavaraj Bommai make the names of politicians allegedly involved in the Bitcoin scam public, irrespective of which party they belong to. “Let it be Congress or BJP, it does not matter. People should know the truth. I have information about politicians being involved in this scam. If there is no case, why did the CM hand it over the case to ED?” he asked.

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