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Cop, brother booked for abetting suicide of bitcoin trader

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

A Gujarat police officer and his brother were Wednesday booked for allegedly abetting suicide of a bitcoin trader here last week, police said.

Narmada district deputy superintendent Chirag Patel and his brother Haresh Savani were booked under sections 306 (Abetment of suicide), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 114 (abettor present when crime committed) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a Ranip police station official said.

The trader, identified as Bharat Patel, had hanged himself from the ceiling at his residence in Ranip on May 18.

He had left behind a suicide note blaming the police officer and his brother for "threatening" him for the losses incurred by them in the cryptocurrency investment, police had said.

In her complaint, late Patel's wife Usha Patel stated that Chirag and Savani used to pressurise and threaten her husband to compensate for the losses, the official said, adding that the duo are not yet arrested.

In his note, Patel said that after incurring losses, the police officer and his brother started putting pressure on him to return "11,575 bitcoins against the loss of five bitcoins".

"There is a huge pressure on me and my brother. I am very disturbed due to bitcoin recovery. (Dy SP) Chirag Patel visited my house and threatened me to pay him back the entire bitcoin. I am compelled to commit suicide. And the pressure of the two brothers is responsible for my suicide. My family members have nothing to do with this and they are innocent," it stated.

Bitcoin is unregulated digital currency that allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.

It was introduced in 2008 by an unidentified group of programmers as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic payment system. It is reportedly the first decentralised digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 22 2019. 16:50 IST