An Indian cryptocurrency trader who amassed a $40 million (roughly Rs. 299 crore) fortune was kidnapped by a police officer and seven others who demanded he transfer his Bitcoin wallet to them, authorities said Wednesday.
Vijay Naik, 38, was abducted in the city of Pune on January 14 and told to hand over his digital fortune, along with Rs. 800,000 in cash.
He was abruptly let go the next day when the kidnappers realised the police were on their tail, and the perpetrators were detained on Tuesday.
Among the accused was Dilip Tukaram Khandare, a police officer who had been trained in cybercrime investigations and had come to learn of Naik’s Bitcoin holdings. Bitcoin price in India as of 11:04am IST on February 3 stood at Rs. 29.86 lakh.
“We have taken eight people including a police constable who planned the abduction into custody,” a senior officer confirmed to AFP.
The case comes days after the arrest of several other officers accused of kidnapping a man in Jaipur and forcibly transferring $1.2 million (roughly Rs. 8.97 crore) in Bitcoin from his mobile into another account, local media reports said.
Cryptocurrency remains largely unregulated in India despite burgeoning local trading platforms and glitzy celebrity endorsements attracting millions of new traders.
The burgeoning market was banned in 2018 after a surge in fraudulent transactions but restrictions were lifted by the Supreme Court two years later.
Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.