How ‘hacker’ Sri Krishna paid for his lavish lifestyle
Hacker Sri Krishna (SriKi), 26, was arrested from a star hotel in connection with a brawl on November 6. He was living in the hotel for nearly two months. Four laptops were recovered from him.
That sums up the hacker’s lifestyle for many years now, as statements of his associates in the chargesheet reveal.
The chargesheet also includes bills running into several crores from multiple star hotels in Bengaluru and cities across India.
Fall out with friends
Statements by Suneesh Hegde, Prasidh Shetty, and Robin Khandelwal – given in police custody and have no evidentiary value – paint the life and times of SriKi. Suneesh, contractor and co-accused, claims in his statement that they used to stay at star hotels partying while SriKr used to hack poker websites, showing them the card of the opposite player beforehand, helping them win big.
“He claimed to have hacked and stolen several bitcoins and promised to give them to me. So I looked after all expenses of SriKi. Till now, I have spent over ₹2 crore on him,” Suneesh claimed in his statement. Eventually, the two reportedly fell out as SriKi did not deliver on the promises he made.
Robin, 32, resident of West Bengal and a bitcoin trader, befriended by SriKi online with an offer to sell 900 bitcoins he claimed to have stolen, detailed how SriKi made everyone spend on him, promising huge windfalls in bitcoins, but did not part with any, leading to bitter tiffs within the gang. Robin claimed he put a fake bandage on his leg to scare SriKi that he was beaten up by the gang, and SriKi fled the hotel he was staying in.
Robin claimed that with SriKi failing to give bitcoins to any of them, Suneesh brought SriKi and kept him in his flat. “SriKi told me not to give the bitcoins to Suneesh and suggested we flee from the balcony of the flat and we did so,” he said in the statement.
Suneesh also claimed that SriKi initially hacked a poker website and stole ₹50 lakh, following which his associates were arrested and SriKi fled to Goa to hide. Suneesh claimed that through him the hacker contacted the poker website and promised them to fix the vulnerability. “The company’s officials came to Goa and paid ₹50 lakh to SriKi after he fixed the vulnerability in the website,” he claimed in his statement.
SriKi is now charged for hacking the particular website. In his statement, SriKi said Suneesh earned his loyalty and respect “since he seemed like a guy who could be trusted,” but adds: “little did I know that there lived a demon inside him waiting to extort the living hell out of me”.
SriKi has also been chargesheeted for cheating an individual taking money promising bitcoins in return and failing to deliver.
The city police also claim to have been hoodwinked by him as he misled them to believe he had given up 31.12 bitcoins, but that was not the case at all.
Robin has emerged as a key witness in the case as the hacker traded most of his bitcoins at his firm Robin Online Services. Robin, in his statement, claimed he had done business worth over ₹8 crore with the hacker. SriKi used to send him bitcoins and ask him to debit the money in his friend’s accounts. Robin claims he even booked a chartered flight for SriKi when he was on the run in the 2018 Mohammed Nalapad ‘Farzi Cafe’ assault case.
In his statement, SriKi said he became friends with Omar Nalapad, Mohammed Nalapad’s brother, through common friend Manish D.K. in 2015 and hung out with the group till 2018.
Cafe assault incident
“We chilled for around three years,” he said. SriKi was an accused in the 2018 cafe assault case in which Mohammed Nalapad was arrested.
He fled the city and was on the run, hiding for some days with Robin in Kolkata and later across north India till he got anticipatory bail. He says he eventually parted ways with the Nalapads and their friends as he got closer to Suneesh in 2018.