A 23-year-old Mewat-based man was arrested for allegedly running a ‘sextortion’ racket and victimising 200 people, the police said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) B.K. Singh said that the accused has been identified as Barkat Ali, from Haryana’s Palwal.
The police said that they were investigating complaints by people who stated that their morphed obscene videos were being sent to them and that they were being threatening that the videos will be uploaded on the social media. “Criminals would demand ₹15,000 from their targets as the victims could pay up and not file any complaint because of the small amount,” Mr. Singh said.
Ali was arrested after a team acted on a secret information on his arrival in Gurugram.
During interrogation, it was revealed that the accused used to prepare fake ID with profile name and photographs of women on social media application after which they would send friend requests to wealthy people. The accused would then share WhatsApp numbers and indulge in intimate chats. “Eventually, they would very tactfully lure the victim into stripping on camera which would be recorded by them,” said a senior police officer.
The accused would then reveal their identity as YouTubers and threaten the victims that they would upload the videos on social media which would tarnish their image in front of family and friends. “The victims preferred to pay the extortion money instead of filing complaint in order to save his reputation,” the officer said.
The police said that the accused used to previously cheat people on pretext of selling cars and bikes online but after being released from jail following involvement in loot of an ATM in Karnataka, he and accomplices decided to extort people using his modus operandi.
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