Extortion accused uses cellphone in jail, charges inmates Rs 1,500 per call

Extortion accused uses cellphone in jail, charges inmates Rs 1,500 per call

In connection with the recent extortion call made from Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, the Vijayanagar police are continuing to interrogate Gunda alias Ravi.

Ravi is the prime accused in the case who not only made the extortion call from the prison to a businessmen demanding Rs 30,000, but also got his associates to assault the victim, vandalise his car and rob him of Rs 10,000.

Ravi has confessed to the police that he indeed made the extortion call.  The police also learnt Ravi had made the call from a SIM card used by another inmate named Dinesh. Dinesh is an undertrial who was arrested by Byatrayanapura police for robbery.

According to Ravi, Dinesh got the SIM card and a smart phone smuggled into the jail for Rs 10,000 from his contact outside who activated SIMs using forged documents. Dinesh used to allow other inmates to make calls using his phone for a price per minute which would be anywhere from Rs 5,00 to 1,500 per call. While Dinesh makes money inside the jail this way, there are nearly a hundred of them with mobile phones inside doing the same business, sources privy to the investigation said.

Investigations revealed that Gunda Ravi had used the SIM to make extortion calls to two more persons but when the police approached them, they refused to file a complaint.

‘Jammers defunct’

All 19 mobile phone (3G) jammers installed inside the prison in Parappana Agrahara are defunct since the annual maintenance contract (AMC) had expired a few months ago. However, as security a measure, prison authorities have installed a ‘F1G security pole’, a device to detect SIM cards and metal objects inside the prison.

“The jammers have not been functioning for quite some time now and instead, we are using the F1G security pole for screening inmates in the prison,” said H N Sathyanarayana Rao, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Prisons. “We are not aware of any use of SIM cards inside the prison and the city police have not communicated to us about any such case,” he added.

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