The police of Dehradun in Uttarakhand, India, revealed details regarding the murder of a 35 year old Kerala businessman, Abdul Shakoor. As per the information shared by the authorities, Shakoor was believed to be the only one who knew the password key to his bitcoin wallet. It was estimated that he might possess bitcoin of Rs 450 crore, roughly $62.5 million worth, which are lost forever.
Shakoor’s dead body was found in the parking area by a hospital and authorities at the hospital immediately communicated the news to police. Upon investigating, police searched out the car and found a hospital admission card along with some documents. With the help of evidence found in the car, police was able to identify Shakoor.
According to the hospital authorities, the deceased belonging to Malappuram in Kerala was dropped at the parking lot by 4 men. After examining the dead body, police concluded that Shakoor was tortured to death, as several marks of injuries were found all over the deceased’s body.
Police remarked that he had been killed by his colleagues, although 5 members of his team namely, Faris Sufail Mukhtar, Arvind C, Asif Ali, and Aftab Mohammad have been arrested, a few of the core team members are still at large as the department is still searching for Aashiq, Rehaab, Arshad, Yasinand Muneef.
Arun Mohan Joshi, Dehradun Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), told that Shakoor had been running a bitcoin business. He was collecting money from different people, living in different cities. After devising teams and allotting them different areas to collect money for the business that involved crypto investments, a handsome amount of $62.5 million was generated.
Although the company was quite successful in raising substantial capital, the business failed and investors turned to Shakoor. Confirmed by an officer at the Perinthalmanna police, the business didn’t have money to return and Shakoor was facing financial crisis.
According to the plot revealed by the Dehradun police, Shakoor shared business failure with Ashiq. Shakoor came up with a plan to return peoples investments but his plan to come up with his own cryptocurrency to compensate the investors didn’t appeal to Ashiq. On the other hand, Ashiq didn’t buy that Shakoor’s bitcoin wallet had been hacked.
Ashiq was determined that the team could retrieve investors money by gaining the password of Shakoor’s wallet. He collaborated with other team members and rented an apartment in Dehradun. After managing to deceive Shakoor, Ashiq led him to the apartment and tortured him for several days.
After severe torture, when Shakoor was at high risk of losing his life, the culprits rushed to hospitals. Shakoor’s death meant there is no way to access crypto left in his wallet and after two hospitals confirmed that Shakoor was no longer alive, his dead body was abandoned in the hospital.
Then, with the help of CCTV cameras, police started its investigation to catch the people responsible. Following the tracks, police was successful in tracking back the culprits. Finally, they arrested 5 men involved and is currently hunting for the others.
In addition to fraudulent practices, the misuse of bitcoin and other cryptos on the dark web has severly damaged global crypto adoption. Recently, a few cases came into the light where bitcoin was paid to companies on the dark web for hiring a hitman to murder ex-lovers.
Along with a volatile nature, the aforementioned incidents involving cryptocurrencies are not beneficial for mass adoption. Introduced only over a decade ago, cryptos are giving governments a tough time to deal with. It is easy to expect that regulators will face several problems after such incidents while devising a regulatory framework for bitcoin and other cryptos.