Karnataka bitcoin case: ED investigates offshore transactions of hacker Srikrishna’s brother

The CEO did not receive satisfactory responses in relation to the £50,000 (around Rs 47,000) that the hacker’s brother Sudarshan Ramesh received in his account resulting in the Central Agency banning the brother from leaving the country, according to sources familiar with the case. She said.

The agency recently told the Karnataka High Court that it could not allow the hacker’s brother to return to the Netherlands, where he was working, due to his failure to cooperate in ED investigations into proceeds of money obtained by Srikrishna Ramesh through hacking crimes. .

“A detailed investigation is required to get details from foreign banks regarding these transactions, and the investigation is still pending,” Prasana Kumar, an emergency department attorney, told the court.

The agency is investigating a money laundering case against Srikrishna Ramesh, 26, who is accused of stealing 11.5 crore rupees from Karnataka government’s e-purchasing portal along with hacking gaming websites in India and cryptocurrency exchanges in foreign countries.

The cases against Srikrishna had political repercussions in the state due to the accusation of the opposition Congress of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the police department of favoring the hacker after he was arrested in the case of buying drugs using bitcoins in November 2020. The Congress has also questioned the disappearance of the bitcoins that the hacker claimed to be in his possession.

The brother of the intruder Sudarshan, 31, an engineer in the Netherlands, was prevented from leaving India in January this year – after a visit to meet his family – by immigration authorities on the basis of a monitoring circular issued by the Immigration Department.

On Tuesday, the ED’s lawyer told the Supreme Court he was not in a position to indicate whether Sudarshan could be allowed to leave the country due to his lack of cooperation in the investigation.

ED is trying to check the movement of money stolen by Srikrishna and his associates from different locations using his computer hacking skills. Executive Director Srikrishna and several of his associates have been questioned in connection with money laundering investigations over the past year.

In a petition filed against the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration Bureau and the ED, Sudharshan said he was questioned on a few occasions by the Director of Emergency in connection with an alleged fraud involving his brother and claimed he had no links with his brother. procedures.

“One of Srikrishna, who happened to be the petitioner’s brother, is allegedly involved in some fraud. It is pertinent to note that the petitioner has no prior information on such antecedent as he has not been in India in time since his stay in the Netherlands over the eight years past, as stated in the petition.

A money laundering investigation conducted by the Emergency Department resulted in the confiscation of Rs 1.43 crore out of a total of Rs 11.5 crore stolen by the gang from Karnataka e-procurement portal.

Srikrishna, who holds a computer science degree from the Netherlands, returned to India in 2017. In a voluntary statement submitted to the police during his time in police custody, he stated that he was involved in hacking the Bitfinex exchange with a hacking group he was associated with in the Netherlands.

The hacker claimed in statements given to Bengaluru police that he hacked BVI-based crypto exchange Bitfinex during 2015-16. The FBI and other US agencies are investigating the theft of 119,754 Bitcoin (currently worth $4.5 billion) from the Bitfinex exchange in 2016.

In February of this year, US agencies reported the discovery of nearly $3.6 billion in bitcoins stolen from Bitfinex in 2016 from two US citizens, Elijah Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, after they were arrested in New York. US agencies have reported recovering 94,636 of the 119,754 Bitcoins stolen during the 2016 hack.

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