KOCHI: Think twice before going on a date with someone you met through dating apps like Tinder, as the police suspect that an organised honey trap racket is using Tinder to lure men and fleece money from them, by threatening to file a rape complaint against them if they fail to part with the money.
A probe was launched into the matter after two men alleged that women they dated after meeting through the app demanded money from them by issuing similar threats.
The incident came to light when the police questioned a 38-year-old man from Tripunithura in Ernakulam, after a woman lodged a complaint with the Fort Kochi police station against him for allegedly raping her at a hotel in the city. The man, who is married and is the father of two children, went on a date with the 45-year-old woman after he met her via Tinder.
Though the man’s version is that the woman had already taken Rs 1 lakh from him by threatening that she would file a rape complaint against him, the police haven’t fully approved his version. However, a parallel probe by the police indicated the role of a honey trap racket. The police are giving weight to this theory because there had been a similar complaint from a youth in Fort Kochi, who had alleged that a woman he met on Tinder threatened to file a rape complaint against him if he didn’t give her Rs 2 lakh.
“We conducted a detailed investigation into the incident based on the rape complaint lodged by the woman against the Tripunithura native. As the crime, as alleged by the woman, has taken place at a hotel located at Panangad in February this year, we subsequently forwarded the case to the Panangad police station,” said Fort Kochi Sub-Inspector P K Das.
Another police officer said the probe revealed that the woman hailed from Tiruvalla. She claimed to have been staying at a friend’s place in Kochi when she met the Tripunithura native via Tinder. The officer said the man took up the matter with his wife and family after the woman started blackmailing him.
“Inputs reveal that the family worked out some settlement with the woman. However, she lodged the complaint anyway. We are verifying the details provided by the woman and a case will be registered accordingly,” the officer added.