Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: Just when the CID Crime Branch thought that they have taken a step ahead in the infamous Bitcoin extortion case of Surat builder Shalesh Bhatt, the masterminds of this crime seems to be two steps ahead of them. Kirit Paladiya, the business partner of Bhatt and the main link that joined the chain of events that led to kidnapping and extortion of money and Bitcoins by the CBI and Amreli Police, have made good escape to Thailand. The police and CID crime branch couldn't read between the lines when Paladiya had sweet talked his way into winning their confidence of not being a part of this whole crime and escaped by the time it was revealed that it was him who masterminded the whole extortion plan.
Paladiya had acted as an informer-cum-middleman in the extortion plan where a CBI officer first threatened builder Shailesh Bhatt with raids and investigation into his businesses and his friends' businesses too and later the Amreli Police too had given similar threats to get Rs12 crores worth of Bitcoins from him. But in reality this was all masterminded by Paladiya himself. After demonetisation, he had introduced himself as the representative of American crypto-currency firms like Hextracoin, Bitcapital and Bitcoin to several businessmen, IAS officers, ministers and other public servants from Surat who had huge sums undeclared and illegal income to be stashed off. He convinced them to invest crores of rupees into these digital currencies. Sources close to him say that Paladiya is an expert cyber criminal who has mined some of these crypto currencies based out of a farmhouse near Surat.
On one hand he'd convince such powerful and moneyed people to invest in digital currencies, while on the other hand he would connive with CBI and police who'd threaten the same people of legal action unless they transfer these currencies to them. The sources further claim that four men Satish Kumbhani, Sandip Patel, Ankur Dholakia and Dhaval Patel would Paladiya in his extortion plans. When Shailesh Bhatt filed an official complaint, Paladiya realised that it won't be safe to stay in the country anymore and the CID Crime would catch them soon. It is estimated that Paladiya has amassed investments up to Rs8,000 crores and more from several people. It is being said that Nalin Kotadiya, a former MLA too have a prominent role in this whole plan, though he has categorically rubbished those claims.
Before CID could find out the real face of Kirit Paladiya, he scooted off to Thailand with the help of a certain Hemal Thakkar and Ankur Khokare, who had arranged for Kirit and his partners' travel. Kirit and his friends are now currently enjoying a lavish holiday at a posh holiday resort in Thailand, which is owned by Gondal's Divyesh Pathal and Surat's Kiran Tilwala. While the CID was left solving the knots of how Rs12 crores worth Bitcoins were first transferred to Sandip Patel by inspector Anant Patel of Amreli Police, then Rs10 crores worth Bitcoins cashed in Mumbai to be distributed amongst the extortionists.
Even as Kirit is miles away in a foreign land out of the reach of police, complainant Shailesh Bhatt too is apprehensive of returning back to Gujarat fearing the safety of his family. He has asked for police protection to come down to the state and assist the CID crime in the investigations.