Shrike’s money manager Robin Khandelwal arrested

Bengaluru: In a fresh development in the infamous Bitcoin case, Robin Khandelwal, a close confidant of serial hacker Srikrishna alias Sriky, was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) early Saturday.

A senior SIT source told DH that one of its teams had picked up Khandelwal from Rajasthan. The arrest comes about three weeks after the SIT arrested Srikrishna for stealing 60.6 bitcoins from a Tumkuru-based cryptocurrency exchange in 2017.

Before Khandelwal’s arrest on Saturday, the SIT had invoked Section 3 of the Karnataka Control of Organized Crime Act (KCOCA), 2000 in the FIR lodged at New Extension police station in Tumakuru.
The SIT invoked KCOCA after obtaining permission from the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court in Bengaluru.
The KCOCA Act deals with the prevention and control of criminal activities by organized crime syndicates and provides for six months’ imprisonment.

Bail. This is the first time that the SIT has announced that Khandelwal, who hails from West Bengal, is also a suspect in the 2017 Bitcoin theft case.
The case was transferred to the SIT, which believes that Srikrishna and Khandelwal carried out multiple cryptocurrency thefts.
“Since Srikrishna and Khandelwal are involved in several cases like the Tumkuru theft case, KCOCA has been invoked and investigation is underway,” the SIT said in a statement.

According to a senior police officer monitoring the investigation, Srikrishna and Khandelwal are suspects in several such cases and have been named in several chargesheets. Their names will also be in some other chargesheets. Since opening a new case to invoke KCOCA would be a cumbersome process, the stringent Act has been invoked in the Tumakuru case only, the official said.
A well-placed source in the investigation team told DH that they have made a breakthrough into how their nexus operates.

money transfer
“Khandelwal acted on the orders of Shri Krishna. The latter would hack websites and wallets to steal cryptocurrencies and transfer them to Khandelwal. Khandelwal would convert them into Indian currency and withdraw the money. He will also transfer money to people as per the instructions of Sri Krishna,” the source said.
According to the source, the digital footprint of the laptop seized from Shri Krishna revealed information about his conversation with Khandelwal. This device also provided success in the Tumakuru case, leading to the arrest of Sri Krishna.
The source stressed that extracting digital leads from Srikrishna’s laptop reflects the state-of-the-art technological capabilities of the Karnataka CID and the skill of the investigators in the state agency. SIT works under CID.
According to the recent FIR lodged by the SIT at the CID Cyber Crime police station, Khandelwal and Srikrishna were arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) on November 14, 2020. Later both were released on bail.

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