Hushh! Discuss personal matters softly, in private

The cab driver, who overheard the conversation, started blackmailing her, threatening to tell her husband and make her personal issues public.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

BENGALURU:   This case should be a warning for all those who discuss personal matters loudly, unmindful of curious strangers. A woman travelling in a cab was chatting with her friend on her mobile, discussing her personal problems and seeking help.

The cab driver, who overheard the conversation, started blackmailing her, threatening to tell her husband and make her personal issues public. He managed to extort around Rs 60 lakh worth of gold ornaments and Rs 20 lakh in cash from her. Finally, unable to bear the harassment, she approached Ramamurthy Nagar police station. Police arrested the cab driver, Kiran Kumar, 35, of Bhoothaiah Layout in Hessaraghatta. After overhearing her conversation, Kumar started messaging from another number, claiming to be her childhood friend, and said he would help solve her problems.

He slowly gained her confidence and began exchanging text messages and calls, and then started asking her for monetary help. Unaware of the trap, the woman gave him nearly 960gm of gold ornaments. She had travelled in his cab from Indiranagar to OMBR Layout in Banaswadi, in November last year. She had also taken his number and would call him whenever she needed a cab, and is said to have used his services thrice. While travelling, she would often discuss personal matters with a friend.

“The accused initially took Rs 20 lakh from her and splurged it. After she agreed to give more money, the accused himself went to collect it. When she recognised him, he claimed he was her friend’s friend. Suspecting foul play, the woman started avoiding him.

He then started blackmailing her with disclosure of her personal matters to her husband and family. Fearing for her marriage, the woman in April gave him gold ornaments she had got from her parents. When her husband asked her about the missing ornaments, she revealed that the cabbie was blackmailing her. He had taken gold loans on the ornaments and also sold some at a pawn shop. The ornaments have been recovered, an officer said. Police are checking if the accused is a habitual offender.  

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The New Indian Express
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