Karnataka Bitcoin case: ED probes foreign transactions of hacker Srikrishna’s brother

The ED has not received satisfactory responses with regard to an amount of 50,000 British pounds (around Rs 47 lakh) received by the hacker’s brother Sudarshan Ramesh in his account resulting in the central agency preventing the brother from leaving the country, sources familiar with the case 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 employed, on account of his non-cooperation in the ED’s investigations into the proceeds of funds obtained through hacking crimes by Srikrishna Ramesh.

“A detailed probe is required to get details from foreign banks regarding these transactions and investigation is still pending,” the ED’s counsel Prasanna Kumar told the court.

The agency is investigating a money laundering case against Srikrishna Ramesh, 26, who is accused of stealing Rs 11.5 crore from an e-procurement portal of the government of Karnataka besides hacking into gaming sites in India and cryptocurrency exchanges in foreign countries.

The cases against Srikrishna have had political repercussions in the state on account of the opposition Congress party accusing the ruling BJP and the police department of favouring the hacker after his arrest in a case of purchasing drugs using Bitcoins in November 2020. The Congress had also questioned the disappearance of the Bitcoins that the hacker claimed to have in his possession.

The hacker’s brother Sudarshan, 31, an engineer in the Netherlands, was prevented from leaving India in January this year – following a visit to meet his family – by immigration authorities on the basis of a lookout circular issued by the ED.

On Tuesday, the ED’s counsel told the high court that it is not in a position to indicate if Sudarshan can be allowed to leave the country on account of his lack of cooperation in the probe.

The ED is trying to ascertain the movement of funds stolen by Srikrishna and associates from various…

Read more at indianexpress.com

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