According to recent reports, the former MLA of Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP], Nalin Kotadiya from Dhuliya, Maharashtra, was arrested by Ahmedabad Crime Branch. The arrest was related to an investigation of a 9.95 crore worth Bitcoin [BTC] extortion case in Surat.
Kotadiya was accused of abducting Shailesh Bhatt, a Surat-based builder, and extorting Bitcoin worth crores from him. He claimed that Shailesh Bhatt was the main conspirator and stated that Bhatt had recently kidnapped two investors and extorted 2,300 BTCs from them.
The police filed a complaint against the MLA after which they began their investigation. The victim who filed the complaint stated that Inspector Patel, one of the officers in charge of the investigation, had abducted Shailesh Bhatt, a Businessman, and forced him to transfer BTC from his mobile wallet.
Moreover, the perpetrator did not respond to any of the summons sent by the Crime Investigation Department [CID]. The former MLA was declared as a wanted criminal from the court because he failed to turn up for questioning. Kotadiya was absconding ever since the CID declared a manhunt on him. He failed to appear to the court despite several summonses, resulting in the Ahmedabad Court declaring him a proclaimed offender.
According to recent reports, a team of Amreli police tried to extort BTCs from Shailesh Bhatt, his associate and Kotadiya’s nephew Kirit Paladiya. Further investigation showed that the mastermind behind the conspiracy was Paladiya. He had made a deal with inspecter Patel and others with an agenda of extorting a total of 176 BTCs from Mr. Bhatt.
In addition, the former Dhari MLA, Kotadiya, had openly supported Hardik Patel-led Patidar quota agitation which aimed at providing reserved quotas in education and government jobs. He is also facing a case of allegedly extorting money from Madhubhai Vasani, a builder. He demanded 2 crores as extortion and when Vasani refused, Kotadiya and his group thrashed him and took away his gold chain and pendant worth 60,000 rupees.
However, the police have also registered a case against Mr. Bhatt who originally reported a complaint against the former Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] MLA. The registered case stated that before his own abduction, Bhatt had extorted some cash and over 2000 BTCs from Dhaval Mavani, who was a member of a cryptocurrency firm called BitConnect, a fraudulent platform where investors were promised up to 365% yearly returns on their Bitcoin investment.
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