YouTuber, rowdy kidnap firm staff over 'blackmail'

YouTuber, rowdy kidnap Bengaluru firm's staff after owner rejects 'blackmail'

Police arrested them along with four other suspects after a month-long manhunt

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

A YouTuber ganged up with a rowdy to kidnap two employees of a foodstuffs distribution company in July. Police arrested them along with four other suspects after a month-long manhunt.

Ramesh alias Kulli, a rowdy-sheeter, and Santosh Kumar alias Dravid, a reporter at a YouTube news channel named Samraat, are accused of kidnapping the employees of Sai Food in Kurubarahalli, North Bengaluru, around 11 am on July 17.

The pair, with help from four other men, allegedly kidnapped Keshavamurthy and Manjunath when the latter were travelling in a Maruti Eco to supply groceries to restaurants in Whitefield.

Kumar later called up Sreenivasa A, the manager of the company, asking him to tell the own to call him.

But the owner didn't call them, forcing the gang to change tack. The suspects drove towards Sarjapur and eventually released the duo.

The firm's manager told the police that Kumar had visited their warehouse four months ago, introduced himself as a "reporter" for Samraat news channel and took videos of various products there. He later tried to blackmail the company, saying it sold expired goods and "expose" it by broadcasting a video on the YouTube channel.

He wanted the firm's owner to contact him if he didn't want the "news" to be published, according to the manager's police complaint.

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