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CBI responds to buzz of FBI probing Karnataka Bitcoin Case, no team sent to India

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The CBI clarified today that no team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrived in India to investigate the alleged Bitcoin scam in Karnataka, despite media reports and congressional leaders claiming that officials from the US law enforcement agency are in the country to investigate the matter.

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“This is to inform that FBI has not sent any team to India for conducting a probe in the matter nor has any request been made by FBI to CBI for conducting investigation in this case in India,” the central probe agency said in a statement.

“Accordingly, the question of according any permission for the probe by Competent Authority in India does not arise. CBI as the National Central Bureau for INTERPOL in India coordinates closely with international law enforcement agencies including FBI,” the statement added.

After Congress leaders alleged that the FBI was looking into the matter, they challenged BJP leaders in Karnataka, including Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai, to come clean.

Srikrishna Ramesh, who was arrested in a narcotics case in 2020, is at the centre of the big controversy. Ramesh was discovered to be a hacker who was reportedly involved in various internet offences over the course of the police inquiry.

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He is said to have admitted to hacking into Bitcoin exchanges and a government webpage, among other things.

The opposition has charged that several BJP politicians and top bureaucrats got bribes in the form of Bitcoins, pointing to holes in the Bengaluru police investigation.

Mr. Bommai has even discussed the problem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Later, he claimed that the Prime Minister had told him not to be concerned about the claims.

On Friday, Congress MLA Priyank Kharge claimed the FBI is in the Delhi to investigate the “billion dollar #BitCoinScam” and said “a lot of BJP’s skeletons will tumble out” if the matter is probed properly.

Following that, veteran Congressman Randeep Singh Surjewala grilled Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Mr Bommai on the subject.

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