Former Legislator Involved In Bitcoin Extortion Declared Proclaimed Offender

Declared Proclaimed Offender

A sessions court in India declared former BJP Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Nalin Kotadiya a proclaimed offender. The proclamation is in connection with an extortion case filed against Kotadiya and several other defendants.

The sessions judge P G Tamakuwala declared Kotadiya a proclaimed offender under section 82 of the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC ) and demanded that he appear before the court within 30 days.

The complainant in the court case, Indian Businessman Sailesh Bhat accused police officers of kidnapping him and his business partner Kirit Paladia. They allegedly kept him confined at a farmhouse and extorted almost $1.3 million worth of Bitcoin owned by Paladia. Bhatt accused Kotadiya of involvement in the scheme, saying Kotadiya pressured him to pay the ransom.

After an investigation, the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID-Crime) filed a case of kidnapping and extortion against Kotadiya and the officers involved.

Earlier this June, cybersecurity firm Carbon Black released a report saying that about $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen in the first half of 2018 alone. Estimates say that there are around 12,000 marketplaces and around 34,000 offerings that hackers can take advantage of.

In a speech at the recently concluded Money20/20 Europe conference last June 4, former US Federal Prosecutor Mary Beth Buchanan said that more crimes were committed with fiat currencies than cryptocurrencies. She also emphasized that law enforcement has access to “commercially available” tools that can trace how currency has moved on a blockchain.

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