Members of the Indian National Congress (INC) have alleged that Bitcoin has been used to clean dirty money for the ruling party in the state of Gujarat. They are demanding a judicial probe into the matter be launched.
Multi-Million Dollar Money Laundering Scam Alleged in Gujarat
A spokesperson for the INC has claimed that the total figure involved in the scam is over $726 million. However, according to the Hindustan Times publication, some claim the amount may be in excess of $12.7 billion.
Shaktisinh Gohil alleges that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Gujarat have been cleaning money using Bitcoin transactions. He claims that state police have uncovered the scam but the kingpins of it have absconded. The INC minister went on to state that the BJP had used the previous demonetisation policy to cover up their money laundering and were now using Bitcoin to continue cleaning funds and extorting wealthy individuals in the state. He said:
“Even as the BJP scrambles for answers to explain how the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), whose director is BJP President Amit Shah, received old currency worth Rs 745.58 crore in just 5 days and how Rs 3118.51 crore were 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.”
The INC spokesperson claims that a range of crimes have become the norm in the state of Gujarat. These include the kinds of money laundering transactions alleged against the BJP, as well as kidnappings, and extortion of cryptocurrency using the muscle of the state police.
He goes on to cite the example of Shailesh Bhatt who was allegedly the victim of a police extortion of Bitcoin. According to the INC spokesperson, 200 Bitcoin were taken from Bhatt who was then demanded to pay over $4.6 million.
Gohil claims that the ruling party were guilty of double standards since Congress politicians had been hounded during the elections and yet they were not willing to investigate this “mega Bitcoin scam.”
“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?”
However, the BJP refute the allegation. They claim to be victims of the opposition party’s “dirty tricks department.”
BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni told reporters earlier today:
“We demand an impartial Supreme Court-monitored judicial investigation in this maze of ‘Mega Bitcoin Scam’ so that the truth comes out.”