Ex-Indian Legislator Nalin Kotadiya Arrested in Infamous Bitcoin Extortion Case
After evading arrest for three months, former Indian statesman Nalin Kotadiya has been apprehended by Ahmedabad police for purportedly engineering India’s most infamous bitcoin extortion case to date.
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Nearing Conclusion to the Infamous Bitcoin Extortion Case
Nalin Kotadiya, the onetime member of India’s top legislative assembly, has been arrested in Amalner, Maharashtra, on charges of extorting bitcoin worth $1.3 million dollars from Surat-based realtor Shailesh Bhatt. Kotadiya’s arrest could bring a conclusion to the increasingly controversial case.
Of the capture, Ahmedabad police official Deepan Bhadran said:
“Nalin Kotadiya, who is wanted in the bitcoins extortion case, was arrested from Amalner near Dhule in Maharashtra Sunday,”
Since June, the lawmaker had gone underground to dodge prosecution. Before that, in May, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Kotadiya — however, his failure to turn up for interrogation led the court proclaiming him a fugitive.
In May the local court stated:
“There is material evidence substantiating the allegation of [crime] against Kotadiya. It has also emerged from the record that though summonses were issued twice, Kotadia, despite promising cooperation, did not present himself before the investigating agency. The warrant is thus required to be issued as prayed by the investigating officer.”
Joining the Missing Links
The controversial case surfaced first in April 2018 when the Surat-based businessman Bhatt lodged a complaint against 11 people, including Kotadiya and few policemen, for abducting and forcing him to transfer 200 bitcoin to their digital wallets. The case stirred up a domestic hornet’s nest for investigators, as it led to multiple further cryptocurrency associated rackets and criminal activities.
The former legislator Kotadiya was linked to the case after his nephew, Kirit Paladiya, who happens to be a close associate of the victim Bhatt, was arrested in May. During the investigation, Paladiya acknowledged Kotadiya’s hand in the extortion play.
At the time of Paladiya’s arrest, police recovered 119 bitcoin spread across multiple cryptocurrencies, including from his Binance wallet.
However, the victim Bhatt has also been recently accused of kidnapping and extortion of BitConnect employees with the help of few corrupt policemen. Whatever further investigations find, it’s clear that Kotadiya’s case has opened a Pandora’s box of cryptocurrency scam revelations, many seemingly linked to one another. With those now in local police custody, it will be easier to join the missing links of the bigger criminal picture together.
The Indian crypto market has been blemished with such illicit activities repeatedly over the past few years, activities which have led the Indian government to angle against crypto.
Will India get over this wave of cryptocurrency scams? Share your views in the comments section.
Images via Mera News, Pixabay