NEW DELHI: Six members of an alleged extortion gang were arrested in Rajasthan for allegedly duping people after befriending them on social media and later threatening to upload their videos of cat transformed, police said Wednesday.
The defendants were identified as Waris (28), Rayees (22), Annay Khan (21), Wahid (23), Mufeed (30) and Akram (21), they said, adding that they were leading the alleged extortion racket from a village in Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
Police say they used to create fake Facebook profiles and befriend random people.
After chatting for a while, they would make a video call to the victims, capture the screen and edit it to juxtapose it with offensive adult content, they said.
The transformed videos were then used to blackmail their targets.
Offensive videos of more than 40 victims were recovered from the cell phones of the accused, they added.
The defendants have so far reportedly deceived people to the tune of Rs 25 lakh, a senior police officer said, adding that 10 bank accounts linked to the gang have been identified and frozen.
An investigation was launched by the Delhi Police Cyber Cell Unit after several complaints were received in recent weeks against an online extortion racket, he said.
“In accordance with the complaints, the victims were contacted via social media platforms such as Facebook via attractive individual profiles.
The victims participated in a brief conversation and guided to a video call via Messenger or WhatsApp.
During the call, the victims saw an adult clip and their video call was recorded simultaneously.
“After a while, they received extortion calls on behalf of the offensive video made from the captured video chat.
Amounts ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 30,000 have been demanded and some of the victims have succumbed to these demands before reporting them to the police, ”said Anyesh Roy, Deputy Police Commissioner (Cyber Cell).
With the help of technical assistance, the location of the accused was located in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
Later, in coordination with Bharatpur police, the gang’s hideouts were identified and early Monday morning raids were carried out and six defendants were arrested, he said.
During the investigation, it was found that the accounts to which the money was transferred were those of Alwar, Rajasthan.
The accused used several SIM cards obtained on false identities to commit the crime, he added.
A total of 17 cell phones used for making extortion calls and obscene conversations and two ATM cards as well as bank account documents into which the extorted money had been transferred by various victims were recovered from their possession, said the DCP.
The case is under investigation and the cyber cell unit’s help is sought in recovering crucial digital evidence, police said, adding that efforts were being made to identify the involvement of others. .