'Sextortion' racket busted in west Delhi's Paschim Vihar
NEW DELHI: An alleged sextortion' gang has been busted with the arrest of its kingpin accused of extorting about Rs 1.2 crore from over a dozen people in the last one year, police here said on Sunday.
The accused and his associates approached "rich-looking" men on Facebook with fake profiles of women and would honey trap them, they said.
The gang sent friend requests' to their targets using fake profiles and talked to them posing as women on Facebook Messenger app and WhatsApp, police said.
According to police, the matter came to light when of the victim's approached police in November alleging that he was set up by the gang which extorted Rs 300,000 from him.
He said he had paid Rs 1.5 lakh in cash and another Rs 1.5 lakh via a bank account transfer to the accused.
The gang operated its activities from a flat it had taken on rent in Paschim Vihar.
The flat was located and its landlord was also interrogated, a senior police officer said.
Dheeraj Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) said that on the basis of technical surveillance, the gang was tracked and its kingpin was identified as one Neeraj of Bahadurgarh, Haryana.
A trap was laid and Neeraj was nabbed on Friday near PVR Cinema, Sector-14, Prashant Vihar, Rohini, he said.
The accused confessed extorting money from over a dozen people in the last one-and-half years with the help of other gang members, which include two women, Kumar said.
He said they would profile their victims based on their net worth and then would proceed to honey trap them.
The gang extorted Rs 5-10 lakh from each victim, the senior officer said, citing the testimony of the accused.
"Once the accused got the mobile phone number of the victim, they would send obscene content to lure him. The lady member of the gang would make a video call to entice the victim and extract certain details from the target to assess his paying capacity.
"Once they were convinced about the financial background of the target, the lady member of the gang would invite the victim to a pre-decided place and indulge in sexual activity," the officer said.
He said once the victim would come to the room, the other members of the gang would barge inside the room posing as police calling it a raid.
They would then threaten man to pay up to hush up the matter, said the officer.
A mobile phone, four SIM cards, one debit card, one scooty, and one hand written script used to blackmail the targets were recovered from the possession of the accused, police said.
Neeraj worked as a bartender in a banquet hall and has a criminal past.
He has two cases of Arms Act registered against him in Haryana, they said.
Police said efforts are being made to trace other victims and arrest the remaining gang members.