New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday alleged a multi-crore scam of converting black money through 'bitcoin' transactions in Gujarat and demanded an apex court-monitored judicial probe into it.
Party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that a 'Bitcoin Scam' of over Rs 5,000 crore has surfaced in Gujarat, with some saying that it is to the tune of Rs 88,000 crore, and charged that the state's top BJP leadership was involved in converting black money through hawala transactions.
He also alleged there were reports of the state police "blackmailing" some businessmen in Surat for "extortion" and named a former BJP MLA as one of the 'kingpins'.
"We demand an impartial Supreme Court-monitored judicial investigation in this maze of 'Mega Bitcoin Scam' so that the truth comes out," he told reporters.
Gohil, who hails from Gujarat, said the "mega bitcoin scam" has been unravelled by the state police but none of the kingpins has been arrested.
He said there is suspicion of involvement of some top BJP leaders in this "massive cryptocurrency" scam and that they are "absconding".
The Congress leader alleged that this Bitcoin cryptocurrency scam is being used to convert their black money and used for extortion from other businessmen in the state.
He alleged that this is a "multi-layered" scam where illegal hawala transactions, kidnappings, extortion of cryptocurrency using government authorities at the behest of top BJP leaders in Gujarat has become a norm.
Gohil cited the case of one Shailesh Bhatt from whom the Amreli district police allegedly extorted 200 bitcoins (worth Rs 10 crore) and demanded Rs 32 crores in cash.
"As the BJP is scrambling for answers to explain how Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, whose director is BJP chief Amit Shah, received old currency worth Rs 745.58 crore in just five days and how Rs 3,118.51 crore was deposited in 11 district co-operative banks linked with BJP leaders in Gujarat itself, a new 'mega bitcoin scam' worth more than Rs 5,000 crore has been unravelled in the state," he told reporters.
An FIR has been registered in connection with this case, he said. He said investigative agencies have found that purported CCTV footage of the alleged police extortion was true and therefore Amreli SP Jagdish Patel and Police Inspector Anant Patel, with his accomplice police inspector and 10 constables were arrested.
The CID then discovered that the mastermind of this 'Mega Bitcoin Scam' was a BJP leader and a former MLA who is now absconding, he alleged.
He further alleged that this leader has put out a video threatening that he will expose all involved in the scam if he is arrested.
The Congress leader alleged that the CID Crime, Gujarat is trying to pressure witnesses of this case for political reasons. He alleged that it was surprising to find Bhatt as the main accused in another FIR, whereas he was the original complainant in the case.
"It is intriguing that the Modi government sends in CBI/ED/Govt authorities to hound Gujarat Congress MLAs as well as Karnataka Congress candidates during elections, when the code of conduct is on. But it does not bother to investigate this 'Mega Bitcoin Scam'," he said. The "absconding mastermind" BJP leader made serious allegations of how top leaders of the party are linked with this entire saga of illicit money transactions, he added.
"Why did the investigation agencies not make Shailesh Bhatt a 'complainant' in the FIR that was filed in the first case? Why are the CBI/ED/Central authorities not investigating this 'Mega Bitcoin Scam'? Who are they sheltering? What is the cover-up?" he asked.
The BJP has dismissed Gohil's charges. The party's spokesperson, Anil Baluni, told Hindustan Times that this was an attempt by the Congress to "spread confusion and lies".
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Updated Date: Jul 07, 2018 09:06:49 IST