AHMEDABAD: Cash worth Rs 25 lakh was today recovered from former BJP MLA Nalin Kotadia's aide by Gujarat CID (crime) officials probing the case of alleged "looting" of 176 bitcoins worth over Rs 9 crore from a builder in apparent connivance with policemen, a senior officer said.
The recovery of the cash "clearly establishes" Kotadia's role in the case, he said.
The cash was recovered from one Nankubhai, a resident of Rajkot, said Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), CID, Crime, Deepankar Trivedi.
He said the cash was "delivered" to Nankubhai at the behest of Kotadia, who is yet to record his statement in the case.
"This recovery of cash is a hard evidence in the case. With this, Nalin Kotadia's role is clearly established now. We are looking for him and we are confident that he will be arrested soon," Trivedi told reporters in Gandhinagar today.
The DIG said that Kotadia has not presented himself before the CID for recording his statement despite two summons issued to him.
Kotadia had served as the MLA of Dhari in Amreli district during 2012 to 2017.
In his complaint filed with the CID (Crime) three months back, Surat-based builder Shailesh Bhatt had alleged that Amreli policemen had kidnapped him and his business partner Kirit Paladia from Gandhinagar and extorted bitcoins (virtual currency), which was in the possession of Paladia.
Bhatt had also alleged that Kotadia was also involved in this conspiracy of extorting bitcoins worth over Rs 9 crore.
The CID had arrested Kirit Paladia on May 4 as it turned out during the probe that he was the mastermind behind the entire conspiracy to 'loot' 176 bitcoins and distribute money generated from selling them amongst himself, policemen, and a middleman.
Trivedi said Paladia had sold 34 bitcoins and gave a portion of cash to Kotadia's aide Nankubhai as well as to Kotadia's brother-in-law, Navneet.
"Paladia sent a total of Rs 35 lakh to Kotadia's men through the Angadia service. While Rs 25 lakh was sent to Nankubhai, Rs 10 lakh was sent to Kotadia's brother-in-law, Navneet, in Amreli. Now, Navneet is also absconding and his mobile is switched off," said Trivedi.
The CID has so far arrested Bhatt's business partner Paladia, Amreli Superintendent of Police Jagdish Patel, Amreli local Crime Branch inspector Anant Patel, two constables, and a middleman.
Seven constables of Amreli district police, allegedly involved in the case, are on still the run.