Four, including film director, held for blackmailing couple

Four, including film director, held for blackmailing couple

The four suspects Santhosh Kumar, Pradeep, Prashanth S and Suresh S.

The cyber crime wing of the Central Crime Branch police arrested four people, including a film director, for an attempt to extort Rs 5 crore from a married couple.

The four blackmailed the couple, threatening to release the video clips of their intimate moments if they failed to pay them the money.

The police said film director Santhosh Kumar (27), also the owner of Grand Sahara Movie Production and a resident of Concept City Layout in Kengeri; his driver Prashanth S (26); his personal assistant and a tile mason Suresh S (23); and Pradeep (22) had plotted to extort money from the couple, who were the director's family friends.

According to the police, Kumar and the couple went for leisure trips together and took group selfies. Kumar had recently asked for the husband's phone to forward the group's  pictures to his phone via the 'Share' app.

He stumbled upon videos of the couple's intimate moments and forwarded them to his phone. Investigations revealed that Kumar, who worked as assistant director in Telugu and Kannada movies, was preparing to make his own movie and had even given it the title 'Mysorealli Raja Rani'.

Kumar plotted to extort Rs 5 crore from the couple after they turned down his request to produce his movie. Using two mobile phones that Pradeep had filched from the Mysuru-Bengaluru Express train, they loaded new sim cards and forwarded the video clippings to the couple via WhatsApp.

Suresh and Pradeep snooped on the couple and informed Kumar of their movements, while all the three men called from different phones, asking for money.

The couple lodged a complaint with the police on May 16, following which they arrested the four suspects. They seized a laptop, five mobile phones and sim cards, among other gadgets, from them.

"Mobile phone users should be wary of intimate pictures. If the phones fall into the hands of those with criminal intentions, they will misuse such pictures," a CCB official said.

Ironically, Kumar is a member of the International Human Rights Working Committee. He was also accused of killing his mother-in-law, and has a case pending against him at the Nazarbad police station in Mysuru, police said.