The Delhi Police on Wednesday claimed to have busted an online sextortion racket and arrested six people from India's Mewat region in Rajasthan state.
According to the police, the accused have been identified as Waris (28), Rayees (22), Annay Khan (21), Wahid (23), Mufeed (30) and Akram (21), who used to dupe people by be-friending them on social media and then threatening to upload their morphed videos online.
“The accused first used to befriend victims on Facebook. They would then persuade the victim to have a video chat. Later, the gang would capture the video call and edit the content to add porn clips and blackmail the victim for money,” said Anyesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell).
The police have also found at least 40 videos of the victims in the devices of the accused. Cops have also frozen 10 bank accounts of the accused who have cheated people of more than INR 2.5 million ($24,215).
Roy stated that an inquiry was initiated by the Cyber Cell Unit of Delhi Police after a number of complaints were received in the past few weeks against an online extortion racket.
"As per the complaints, the victims were contacted over social media platforms such as Facebook through profiles of attractive individuals. The victims were engaged in a brief chat and guided to a video call over Messenger or WhatsApp,” said Roy.
He further mentioned that during the call, the victims were shown an adult clip and their video call was simultaneously recorded.
“After sometime, they used to get extortion calls in the name of the offensive video made from the captured video chat. Amounts ranging between INR 2,000 to 30,000 ($27 to $410) used to be demanded and some of the victims succumbed to those demands before the matter was reported to the police," the officer added.
Using modern technology, the Delhi Police homed in on where the accused were located - the Bharatpur area in Rajasthan state. Later, in co-ordination with Bharatpur Police, the hideouts of the gang were identified. On early Monday, raids were conducted and six were arrested.
Roy described that during the course of the investigation, it was found that the accounts in which money was transferred were around the Alwar area in Rajasthan. The accused had used fake identities to obtain several SIM cards in order to commit the crime.
“Total 17 mobile phones used in making extortion calls and sex chats, and two ATM cards along with bank account documents in which extorted money had been transferred by various victims, have been recovered from their possession," he stated.