Ahmedabad, Apr 8 (PTI) Nine police officials, including an inspector of the Amreli unit of the Crime Branch, were booked by CID (Crime) today for allegedly kidnapping a builder and extorting cryptocurrency and cash from him.

“The CID has registered an offence against nine police officials of Amreli Crime Branch, including its inspector Anant Patel, and have formed an SIT. Two Amreli CB police constables, Babubhai Der and Vijay Vadher, and one Ketal Patel, have also been rounded up,” DGP, CID (Crime), Ashish Bhatia told reporters at a press conference in Gandhinagar.

An investigation was launched in February by the CID (Crime), on the direction of the state government, after a Surat-based builder, Shailesh Bhatt, alleged that he was kidnapped from near a hotel in Gandhinagar by the accused policemen on February 9.

Bhatt had alleged that he was taken to a farmhouse where inspector Patel beat him and forced him to transfer 200 bitcoins.

Patel also demanded Rs 32 crore as extortion money for his release, Bhatia said.

Speaking about the cryptocurrency, Bhatia said. “As far as 200 bitcoins are concerned, we are yet to get evidence of their transfer, but investigation regarding this is underway.”

“We have got enough evidence against these police officials. CCTV footage confirms Bhatt’s version of events leading to his kidnapping. Since Rs 32 crore demanded by the accused could not be transferred, Rs 78 lakh was paid to the police inspector, though he was yet to receive it,” Bhatia said.

“We have booked them under relevant sections of the IPC for kidnapping, extortion, illegal detention and demanding ransom. Sections under Prevention of Corruption Act have also been added,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.