A news anchor is accused of honey-trapping an elderly businessman from Hubballi whom he had befriended on social media.
The anchor, along with a news reporter, a labour activist and four others, was running a honey trap racket in Bengaluru, targeting gullible men, police said.
It all started when Ranjitha, the news anchor, contacted the businessman through social media. She chatted him up and invited him for a two-day trip to Bengaluru. The businessman met her in the city on August 25. They then went to a resort on Kanakapura Road.
A while later, five to six men barged into the resort room where Ranjitha and the businessman were staying. Wasting no time, the men started taking photographs and making videos. Abusing and assaulting the businessman, they made him stand beside Ranjitha and took their photographs. They later made the businessman sit in their car and took his statement.
The gang threatened to send the photographs and the videos to the businessman's family and news channels if he doesn't pay Rs 3 lakh. Pushed to a corner, the businessman paid them Rs 15,000 upfront and promised to pay another Rs 3 lakh online. The gang let him go.
The businessman lodged a complaint with the Kaggalipura on September 12 after discussing the matter with a friend. Swinging into action, police arrested two suspects — Chandrashekar, a television reporter, and N Suresh, who claimed to be the state president of a labourers' association. Other suspects — Ranjitha, V Srinivas, Vikas and Shivu, all from Vijayanagar — are absconding, according to the police.
Police also seized a car belonging to Suresh in which the businessman was taken to the resort. Police said Suresh told them that the honey trap was the brainchild of Ranjitha and Kiran, who works in a news channel. They were inspired by similar incidents reported from the city.