The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged bitcoin scam has recently tracked down hacker Shri Krishna alias Shreeki, who had been at large, and recorded his statement.
Sources in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) under whose aegis the SIT is functioning, said that the hacker has made a series of allegations against several senior police officials over the diversion of bitcoins that he had hacked, stolen, and were in possession of. “His statement given in our custody has no evidentiary value. So we are trying to gather evidence to corroborate the allegations he had made in his statement,” a senior official said.
It can be recalled that Shri Krishna was arrested by the city police in 2021 in connection with a case of procuring narcotics on the darknet. During interrogation, it came to light that he was also a hacker, who claimed to have hacked and stolen several thousands of crore worth bitcoins from international exchanges including Bitfinex.
While he was in custody, the stolen Bitfinex coins now blacklisted moved to undisclosed locations, flagged by bitcoin market watchers online. This raised red flags and allegations that senior police officials and politicians in power in the then-BJP government had benefitted from the proceeds of this crime. Congress government, which made the allegations then, formed a SIT to probe the alleged scam in August 2023, after it came to power.
The SIT has filed a complaint with Cottonpet police, based on which FIR has been registered against officials posted with the Central Crime Branch (CCB) then, for tampering with digital devices seized from the hacker Shreeki. Hard discs, pendrives, and an Apple MacBook seized from him and in the custody of the city police have been found tampered with by the Forensic Science Laboratory, Madiwala. This tampering has now emerged as an indication of transactions made on the devices while the hacker was in custody.
Intensifying investigations into the Bitcoin scam, the CID officials questioned Srikrishna Ramesh alias Shreeki and recorded his statement containing the names of police officials and politicians who benefited. The CID officials are now gathering the evidence to corroborate his claims and also probing further into how the CCB officials tampered the evidence and manipulated the data while probing the case fie years ago.
Meanwhile, SIT officials have also been questioning several officials posted with the CCB then, regarding the probe into the case and allegations of diversion of stolen bitcoins by the hacker.