Four extortionists pose as sting operators, arrested

Accused blackmail lab owners, nursing home doctors

A gang of extortionits, including a woman and two freelance journalists, who allegedly used to blackmail nursing homes doctors and pathological laboratories’ owners posing as sting operators have been busted, police said on Thursday.

Recently, these racketeers had extorted Rs 40 lakh from a laboratory owner in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh after portraying him as a conduit for conducting sex-determination tests.

Dhan Singh, 30 and Ram Sharan, 32, worked as freelance journalists for news channels.
They had equipment like spycams and recorders which they used to carry out the fake sting operations, police said.

Pushpa, 36, used to act as a pregnant woman to trap medical practitioners and Jai Kochar, 24, was their fourth accomplice. All were arrested on Wednesday, police added.
“Around Rs 70,500 in cash, a Swift car purchased from the extorted money and electronic devices used for the carrying out the fake sting operations have been recovered from their possession,” police said.

On October 3, Pushpa posing as patient visited the clinic and met the elder brother of the complainant and portrayed that she had some genetic issues concerning her pregnancy, police said.

She was advised to consult a gynaecologist. Next day, the complainant had gone out of station with his brother when his father informed him that five to six persons having tags and identity cards of a news agency came to their pathological laboratory, police added.
They sent the employees out of the laboratory and asked his father to arrange Rs 1 crore as they had recorded a conversation in which he was reportedly saying their laboratory could arrange sex determination of the woman who had approached him.

“They also threatened that if the amount was not paid they would telecast the recording on their TV channel. Getting overawed by the blackmailers, his father paid Rs 40 lakh to them,” police said.

On an information, a team conducted a raid and apprehended Ram Sharan and Dhan Singh.

During interrogation, they confessed to running an extorn racket, police said. On their instance, Jai Kochar and Pushpa were arrested.

“The gang used to target the well-established doctors and owners of nursing homes. Initially, the woman member of the gang would approach the doctor on the pretext of being pregnant and for conducting pre-natal sex determination test. If the victim would refuse, then a dubious and clever strategy of asking leading questions would be adopted,” police said.

“The gang members stationed outside would guide the woman through concealed communication devices and the matter would be recorded through spy cameras. They would ask to get genetic/DNA tests if nothing incriminating was forthcoming and later they would fabricate the recordings by improving and altering the conversation recorded,” they added.

The accused have disclosed that they used to give share of the extorted money to a manager and another person associated with some news channel, police said.

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