Janasri CEO extorted Rs 10 crore, 1 kg of gold jewellery: city bizman

Janasri CEO extorted Rs 10 crore, 1 kg of gold jewellery: city bizman
Another Bengaluru-based businessman has alleged that Lakshmiprasad Vajpai (42), the arrested CEO of Kannada news channel Janasri, had blackmailed him into paying up Rs 10 crore and one kg of gold jewellery in the third week of March.

In a complaint to the Koramangala police on Friday, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the managing director and CEO of I Monetary Advisory, said Vajpai extorted the money and jewellery from him a day after the channel aired a “fictitious story” about his company on March 16.

“The channel’s staff had telephoned me on March 16 at 9.24 pm and sought some details. I went to the channel’s office in Koramangala along with my staff and gave the details,” he stated in the complaint. “I received a call the next day around 9 am by a staffer who asked me to meet Vajpai. I met him in his cabin, and the channel’s managing director Murthy was also present. They demanded Rs 15 crore for not airing false stories about my company. I needed to protect the reputation of the company as any damage to it would affect the business. I deposited Rs 10 crore in seven bank accounts given by him and also gave him a kilo of gold ornaments.”

The same day (March 17) at 7 pm, the channel broadcast a clarification about the IMA, he added.

But Vajpai wanted more. He demanded an additional Rs 25 crore and a white Toyota, Khan said. According to him, he again met Vajpai in his Koramangala office where the latter demanded a white Toyota. He said he sought time to fulfil the demand. Vajpai contacted Khan again after a few days and demanded Rs 25 crore, with the instruction that the payment be made to him in Delhi in person. Vajpai gave him a “veiled threat” saying there would be “danger” to his life if he didn’t pay up, Khan said.

Khan told the police he mustered the courage to file a complaint against Vajpai following his arrest on the basis of a complaint filed by another city-based businessman. Police said Vajpai was a “repeat offender” and had “blackmailed” several businessmen.

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