An Indian cryptocurrency trader named Vijay Naik, who accumulated a $40 million fortune was abducted by a police officer and seven others who requested that he transfer his Bitcoin wallet to them, authorities said on Wednesday. ayokinews.com reports
On January 14, Vijay Naik, 38, was kidnapped in the city of Pune and instructed by his abductors to hand over his digital assets as well as 800,000 rupees ($10,700) in cash.
When the kidnappers realized the cops were on their heels, he was immediately released the next day, and the criminals were apprehended on Tuesday.
Dilip Tukaram Khandare, a police officer who had been trained in cybercrime investigations and had learned about Naik’s cryptocurrency holdings, was one of the accused persons involved.
“We have taken eight people including a police constable who planned the abduction into custody,” a senior police officer confirmed to AFP.
According to local media sources, the case came days after the arrest of several other cops suspected of kidnapping a man in Jaipur and forcefully moving $1.2 million in bitcoin from his smartphone to another account.
Despite booming local trading platforms and glittering celebrity endorsements drawing millions of new traders, cryptocurrency remains mainly unregulated in India.
After a spike in fraudulent transactions, the booming market was prohibited in 2018, but limits were reinstated two years later by the Supreme Court.
The government announced a 30% tax on virtual currency gains this week, as well as the launch of a “digital rupee” supported by India’s central bank.