CCB arrests two for blackmailing govt officials, professors & engineers

Action follows sextortion complaint by Congress MLA K Harish Gowda.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 18:04 IST

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Bengaluru: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) has tracked down a group that blackmailed professors, engineers and government officials with their morphed pictures and videos.

The CCB’s Organised Crime Wing arrested Mysuru residents Santosh and Puttaraju following a complaint from Congress MLA K Harish Gowda, of the Chamaraja constituency in Mysuru.

Some news reports suggested that the gang threatened Gowda and demanded money from him. However, Gowda told DH that he filed the police complaint on behalf of people he knew.

“They (miscreants) never called or blackmailed me. But at least five people I know were contacted. I filed a complaint on their behalf, keeping the well-being of my constituents,” he told DH.

According to the MLA, the victims include professors, engineers and government officials. The gang constantly called them for extortion even when they were travelling to Kalaburgi, Bengaluru, Mysuru and other places.

A senior police officer in the CCB said the group contacted potential victims and threatened to leak their “intimate” videos on social media if they didn’t pay up.

“The suspects never actually sent videos or photos to their victims, but spoke to them over the phone. In some cases, they approached their victims in crowded places and whispered in their ears about the videos,” the officer told DH.

The CCB arrested the duo by following technical leads, the officer said.

A news release from the CCB stated that one of the suspects previously ran a prostitution racket in Mysuru.

During this time, he made a video and morphed it to blackmail the victims.

Police have seized a pen drive and mobile phone from the suspects and believe more people are involved.

The MLA told this newspaper that police informed him after the arrest that the gang had morphed the victims’ pictures and videos and stored them on the flash drive.

Published 26 June 2024, 18:04 IST

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