New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Delhi Police have arrested five persons, including two juveniles, after busting a Mewat-based gang of sextortionist which indulged in blackmailing and extorting money from people, especially the elderly, by threatening to upload their objectionable pictures/videos online.
The accused have been identified as Rahul Khan (26), Arman (21) and Azad (41), all residents of Rajasthan, apart from two juveniles.
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According to the police, a 67-year-old man had filed a complaint with the cyber police station in Shahdara district wherein he alleged that on March 18, he had received a WhatsApp video call from an unknown number in which a girl was performing some obscene act.
“After some time, the complainant started receiving extortion calls. Someone introduced himself as the SHO of the cyber police station and tried to extort money by saying that if the complainant does not transfer the money, he would circulate the complainant’s nude video on social media,” said Rohit Meena, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shahdara.
Under pressure, the victim had transferred a total of Rs 13,70,000 to the cheater’s bank account, the DCP said.
During investigation, the police collected all the relevant information, including the call detail records and WhatsApp chat details.
“All the bank details and phone numbers of the cheaters were analysed, following which raids were conducted at Bharatpur and Alwar in Rajasthan from where three adults and two juveniles were apprehended,” the DCP said.
On interrogation, it was revealed that the gang used to make WhatsApp video calls or Messenger calls to the victims and start playing obscene videos of girls using a second mobile phone and provoke the victims to do the same.
The accused then recorded the calls along with taking screen shots. To commit the crime, the accused purchased SIM cards and cellphones from West Bengal and managed the fraud bank accounts with the help of other co-accused persons.
“To threaten the victims, the accused introduced themselves as ‘Vikram Rathore’, SHO, cyber police station, and ‘Sanjay’ from YouTube. They mainly used to target elderly people as many of them were reluctant to lodge complaints in such a matter,” the DCP said.
The police have also traced money trail of more than Rs 40 lakh from the frozen accounts the accused. More than 20 victims were also traced who had transferred money into these accounts.
“A total of 24 videos were found from the phones recovered from the accused. Rahul, the mastermind, used to pose as Sanjay from YouTube, while Azad used to introduce himself as SHO Vikram Rathore,” the officer said.