Over a yr after it unearthed a racket involved in the purchase of drugs from the dark net using Bitcoin, the Bengaluru crime department police have filed a chargesheet towards 11 individuals, together with the son of a former Congress MLA, a police constable and a global hacker Srikrishna Ramesh alias Sriki, below the Narcotic Medicine and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985.
The case involving the acquisition of medication by means of the darkish internet, unearthed by the crime department in November 2020, ultimately led to the cracking of a number of cybercrimes in Karnataka involving Srikrishna Ramesh (26), together with a Rs 11.5 crore heist from the Karnataka e-governance cell in July-August 2019.
The drug case emerged on November 4, 2020, when regulation scholar Sujay M, who was a part of a bunch concerned in procuring medication by means of the web, was arrested on the overseas publish workplace in south Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet when he turned as much as accumulate a global parcel of 500 grams of hydro ganja.
Sujay’s arrest led the crime department police to his associates Sunish Hegde, Hemanth Mudappa and Prasidh Shetty who fled to Goa and had been sheltered at a resort by Darshan Kumar Lamani, the son of Rudrappa Lamani, former Congress MLA from Haveri.
The previous MLA’s son has additionally been named among the many 11 accused within the chargesheet filed by the Bengaluru crime department police on February 11 in a classes courtroom – within the case registered on the Kempegowda Nagar police station in November 2020 (after the arrest of Sujay).
Among the many others named within the case is Prabhakar A J, a police head constable in Bengaluru who allegedly supplied data to members of the gang on the whereabouts of a police monitoring workforce whereas they had been on the run following the preliminary arrests.
Nonetheless others named embrace Mohan Barki, Pankaj Kothari and Ashis Bheemsen – who had been a part of the group concerned in procuring medication on the darkish internet.
The hacker Srikrishna and his accountant Robin Khandelwal have been named within the case for ordering medication on the web and finishing up funds for the purchases. Srikrishna is accused of transferring funds to Khandelwal, who ran a Bitcoin buying and selling service, with a view to buy the medication on the darkish internet.
The 11 accused within the medication case have been charged below sections of the NDPS Act pertaining to coping with medication which are lesser than industrial amount, however bigger than a small amount, and for exterior dealings to convey the medication into India from a overseas nation.
Following the arrests, the Bengaluru police discovered that Srikrishna and a few of his associates within the crime – Sunish Hegde, Mudappa, Prasidh Shetty – had been concerned in a number of different crimes in Bengaluru.
The hacker instructed the police that he was concerned in stealing from worldwide websites, together with digital crypto exchanges just like the Bitfinex alternate the place 1,19,754 bitcoins had been stolen in August 2016 in one of many largest on-line cryptocurrency thefts on this planet.
Srikrishna was additionally discovered to have been concerned in a 2019 hacking on the Karnataka authorities’s e-procurement unit of the e-governance cell, the place Rs 11.5 crore of earnest cash deposits by bidders for tenders had been stolen, and within the hacking of a number of poker gaming websites.
The youngsters of a number of politicians, chopping throughout social gathering strains, in Karnataka are recognized to have related to Srikrishna. Based on courtroom data, Srikrishna was typically housed in five-star motels by his prosperous associates to hold out his hacking actions.
Whereas Srikrishna was first named in a legal case in February 2018, as an affiliate of Mohammed Haris (the son of the Bengaluru Congress MLA N A Haris and present Karnataka Youth Congress president) for attacking a youth at a pub in Bengaluru, his function as a hacker emerged solely after his arrest within the November 2020 bitcoin-drugs case.
The dealing with of instances involving the hacker by the police below the BJP regime in Karnataka for the reason that arrests in November 2020 has led to allegations of corruption by the Opposition Congress. The social gathering has alleged that the gang used cryptocurrency to bribe high officers
to get out of the instances.
“There may be details about the involvement of influential politicians of Karnataka within the medication & Bitcoin rip-off. It’s regarding that the investigating officers are attempting to shut the case to assist these politicians,” former Congress CM Siddaramaiah had mentioned on social media in October 2021 in an obvious reference to the crimes allegedly dedicated by Srikrishna and his associates.