New Delhi: Delhi Police Crime Branch arrested a 25-year-old mastermind of an interstate ‘sextortion’ gang from Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
He along with his associates allegedly extorted money from many people by threatening them to circulate their objectionable videos on the internet, police said on Saturday.
The police received a complaint from a senior retired person (name withheld) that he was receiving extortion calls from different numbers and the callers were introducing themselves as officials of YouTube, and allegedly demanding huge amounts.
After making calls, the accused claimed that a girl complained against him as he was exploiting her and they had video of it as evidence. The accused further instructed the victim to contact Youtube to remove his video from being uploaded on the internet. The fake officers allegedly demanded money from the victim for not uploading his video.
Out of fear of his social reputation being maligned, the victim transferred Rs 4,00,000 from his accounts to the accounts provided by the extortionist as they told him to pay the demanded money else he would be falsely implicated in a rape case and his video would be uploaded on various social media platforms. An FIR under various sections of IPC, was logged in the Crime Branch police station, said Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch.
After that, the team tried to develop various information regarding gangs of similar modus operandi and prime suspects mobile numbers. The cops collected various information leading to the accused and it was found that the extortionists were using more than 100 mobile phones and more than 1000 SIM cards issued on fake IDs of various states like Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan and Delhi.
During the investigation, police traced the location of the gang leader, identified as Nasir, who was operating from the Mewat region, Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. On the basis of specific input, the crime branch conducted a raid at the hideout of Nasir and apprehended him from Bharatpur, said Kumar.
The accused is a school dropout. He has one brother, Shakir, who is also wanted in this case. The accused used to work as a truck driver. Later on, he observed that many known people of his circle were earning huge money with the use of cyber cheating and sextortion. To earn more money, he allegedly indulged in cheating people through social media platforms for the last two years.
The police froze six bank accounts that were used in transferring cheated money, said Kumar.