Karnataka Bitcoin Scam: Meet ‘Big Boss’ Srikky, the hacker who duped the police

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The main culprit in the now infamous Bitcoin case, Srikrishna Ramesh or Srikky, is believed to have stolen thousands of Bitcoins in the past five to six years.

This case has now wreaked havoc in Karnataka, especially among politicians and police officers. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah used social media to claim a major conspiracy.

He said, “There is information about the involvement of influential Karnataka politicians in drug and bitcoin scams. It is worrying that investigators are trying to close the case to help these politicians. The @ BJP4India government shouldn’t use their power to make sure the guilty are punished. “

Black hat hackers during school

Sources tell India Today that Srikrishna took an interest in computers as early as the 4th Standard and later immersed himself in various computer languages ​​and technologies. It is alleged that while he was in school he hacked into the main website and regularly changed his and others’ attendance and grades.

READ: Cryptocurrencies may not be banned outright in India. Details here

He later joined as a black hat hacker and was made an administrator in 8th grade. They say he stays in touch with hackers from around the world using Internet Relay Chat (IRC), a text-based instant messaging system. In the world of black hat hackers, Srikrishna Ramesh is known by his aliases, Rose and Big Boss.

One of his first escapades was with an Australian hacker named Shane D. Both of them reportedly managed to hack PayPal’s account transactions website. He would later hack gaming applications and transfer the ill-gotten assets to his PayPal account. All of this happened while he was still studying at VV Puram College.

During his studies he started using alcohol and drugs. Because of his drug obsession, he started hacking into other businesses to steal money. He would buy bitcoins and use them to get drugs on the darknet.

The websites he hacked include BTC2pm.me – where people exchange bitcoins for money; Havelock Investment – a stock trading platform for Bitcoin users; Paytiz – a stock exchange in Bangladesh; MPEX – an illegal cryptocurrency trading platform; and Mixexchage – a Ukrainian platform and many more.

SRIKRISHNA HOODWINKS BENGALURU POLICE

His luck ran out in November 2020 when some of his staff allegedly went to a post office in Bengaluru to pick up a package of ganja. According to sources, Srikrishna transferred funds to Robin Khandelwal, who ran a bitcoin trading service to buy drugs on the darknet.

He was then arrested on the drug case, but this opened Pandora’s box. Bengaluru police found that Srikrishna was involved in several other crimes in the city. In addition, a CID cybercrime cell investigation that was ongoing with the hacking of e-procurement cells also found technical evidence linking him to the crime.

Police then claimed to have recovered 31 bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore from the suspected hacker. However, it is alleged that Srikrishna misled crime department officials into believing he had access to bitcoins that were actually in exchange and not in his possession, and this led to demands for the bitcoins to be reclaimed.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORATE INVESTIGATING ILLEGAL ASSETS OF SRIKRISHNA

The ED is now investigating all of its illegal assets and the siphoning off of Rs 11.5 billion in funds from the e-procurement cell of the e-governance center in Karnataka. The agency began investigations based on cases registered by the Bengaluru Cybercrime Police and the city’s Central Criminal Police.

Srikrishna Ramesh was recently interviewed by the ED in connection with a case registered by the agency earlier this year regarding alleged hacking of Bitcoin holder accounts between 2018 and 2020 and the redemption of the bitcoins via the hawala route after the sale went to third parties.

In August, the ED seized 1.44 billion rupees in funds parked in the account of a UP company, Nimmi Enterprises, of the 11.5 billion rupees stolen by hacking the Karnataka e-procurement cell.

The ED had also informed the court that he and his employees have been extorting funds from companies and individuals since 2018 by threatening to destroy vital data accessed through hacking and through the illicit sale of bitcoins and that Hacking reputable websites have amassed fortunes.

Rs 6 crore allegedly stolen from Karnataka’s e-procurement cell after he and his staff accessed the funds have not yet been found.

WHO EXACTLY IS SRIKRISHNA

Srikrishna is a 25 year old software programmer. He lives in Jayanagar in Bengaluru, completed his school education in the city and then went to Amsterdam in 2014 to study computer science.

WHAT WAS HIS MODE OPERANDI?

Srikrishna had several accomplices and friends who helped him with crimes.

Srikrishna used Bitcoins to buy drugs from the dark web and then had them delivered to the international post office at Chamarajapet. Then he or one of his accomplices would pick up the shipment from the post office. Sometimes they sold these drugs and used them at other times.

File photo of Srikrishna Ramesh or Srikky, main defendant in the Bitcoin case

He would also hack poker websites, steal vital data, and blackmail the owners into paying him whatever he wanted.

“He was involved in Bitcoin trading. Recently he was also involved in a case registered with KG Nagar Police Station in southern Bengaluru. He made bitcoins available to buy drugs over the darknet, and we are investigating his activities,” said Police Commissioner Kamal Pant had told India Today TV.

FINALLY ON THE NET

On November 4th he received a package with Hydro Ganja from abroad at the international post office Chamarajapet. One of his contacts, identified as M Sujay B Mohanraj, picked it up and was caught. This was the first breakthrough in this case.

After further interrogation, Sujay led the police to see Sunish Hegde, Prasad Shetty and Srikrishna. They were booked by the Kempe Gowda Nagar Police, which then handed the case over to the Central Crime Branch (CCB).

During the investigation, it emerged that Sunish and Prasad were related and that, with the help of Srikrishna, they obtained the drugs via the dark web and then distributed and consumed them.

WHAT DID SRIKRISHNA SPECIFY?

After returning from Amsterdam, Srikrishna was a very busy man. He is accused of hacking into Indian poker websites and an online gaming website called RuneScape. With the money he made, he would celebrate in Sunish and Prasad’s apartment, where drugs were consumed and sold.

In 2018 he was involved in a criminal case in which he and Mohammed Nalapad, son of MLA NA Haris, allegedly attacked a man in UB City. Sources said the point of contention in the bar brawl was Srikrishna’s hacking services.

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