A software engineer and his two associates have been arrested for allegedly honey-trapping a businessman from Delhi and demanding Rs 1 crore from him, after threatening to upload his morphed pictures on social media, said the police. This report has been extensively covered by Aaj Tak.
Chetan, a jeweller from Delhi was quite active on social media and was trying to find love via Tinder, a dating app. He came across a girl who he found attractive, swiped right and the two started chatting. After some time she blackmailed him for money and if he could not pay her, she threatened to morph his pictures and upload them on social media.
After the arrest of the accused, DCP (crime) Manoj C said the software engineer, identified as Raj Kishor Singh (31), is the mastermind of this honeytrap gang who makes all the plans. The second accused has been identified as Aryan Dixit (28), an MBA graduate from Noida who runs an online garment business and his friend Payal (29), also a software engineer who lost her job during the lockdown.
The DCP added,
To fund his lavish lifestyle, Raj opened a spa in Gurgaon and recruited several women. Soon, the spa became a front for prostitution racket. He then planned how the women would honey trap rich businessmen by recording obscene videos in private.
According to the police, Raj had been arrested in 2013 on charges of molestation and was later released on bail. A senior police officer said,
The woman used to place the camera hidden in her handbag discreetly in the room and capture all the intimate videos and pictures with different men. After a few days, the victims would get a call from Singh who would threaten to upload the videos and pictures on the social media if the demanded money was not paid.
This gang had conned 20-25 men earlier and looted crores of rupees from them.
There have been many cases of people getting honey trapped as social media is not safe and there are a lot of negatives that come with it. People do not really understand what they are getting into before joining dating apps or getting acquainted with strangers through it. There are several ways to photoshop pictures and videos and circulate them all over the internet. Honey trapping is a well planned and targeted blackmailing process.
In June this year, another case was reported where a 57-year-old businessman, who was being extorted by a gang of five that allegedly trapped him and took intimate pictures of him with a woman, died by suicide by setting himself on fire in Faridabad.
The man was befriended by a member of a honey trap gang on social media and during a meeting at a hotel near Nehru Place in Delhi on June 10, 2021, he was offered drinks laced with sedatives. The gang took compromising photographs of the man and the woman, following which they extorted Rs 2 lakh from him, the police said.
Later the gang asked him for additional Rs 12 lakh, but he refused as he was not in the position to give more money. The suspects were recognised as Jeenat, Nazia alias Juhi, Aashiya alias Ruhi, Eba and Arbaaz of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
Later, the police were informed that the victim set himself on fire, was taken to the hospital but was declared dead.
In another case reported from NCR just three days ago, a 22-year-old Faridabad resident was being illegally confined in Ludhiana of Punjab for a ransom of Rs 10 lakh, after being lured by a honey trap gang. He was rescued and two persons arrested, the police said.
The suspects, identified as Pooja (20) and Ajay Kumar (21) of Ludhiana were booked under Section 324 (punishment of wrongful confinement), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) and 34 ( common intention) of the Indian Penal Code at Tigaon police station.
According to the police, Pooja used to befriend businessmen from Delhi-NCR on phone, invite them to a rented apartment in Ludhiana and record their intimate videos to extort money by threatening to implicate them in false cases of sexual assault. In some cases, the gang would also hold their victims hostage.
The biggest problem of online dating is that men easily fall for women and do not foresee their malicious intentions. Many cases like these have been reported where people have been blackmailed, robbed and exploited in many other ways – all of them being equally harmful to one’s resources and reputation.
Watch detailed video report – Delhi case – at the end of this article.
Author: Nandini Shah is a 3rd year Bachelors of Journalism student and currently working as an intern with MDO.
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