A key accused wanted in the Kerala blackmail scandal — in which several influential men were pushed into sex traps and secretly filmed for extorting money and favours from them — was arrested near the Kerala Legislators’ Hostel, where he was staying for several days in a room booked in the name of a former Congress MLA.
Jayachandran stayed in a room taken on behalf of former Congress legislator and KPCC functionary Sarathchandra Prasad. The police raided the hostel on Wednesday night based on tip-off, but he managed to escape from the hostel complex. However, soon he was was caught.
Investigators were hunting for Jayachandran, a key figure of the racket that linked the women with customers, including NRIs, bureaucrats and politicians. Earlier this month, Kochi police arrested four people after an NRI filed a complaint that the gang was demanding Rs 3 crore and its members have recorded his secret moments with the two women arrested in this case.
The police in Kochi said they had recovered CDs containing video footage used for blackmailing the high-profile victims. If the victims failed to give the demanded money, the women used to file rape complaints with the police.
An NRI businessman’s suicide in Kollam earlier this month was construed as an outcome of the blackmailing. At the legislators’ hostel complex, former MLAs are allowed to stay at Rs 10 a day. Sarathchandra Prasad said he knew Jayachandran, but as an executive of event management. However, the room was booked for another person – Sunil Kottarakkara. “ It was a normal practice to give rooms at our recommendation,’’ he said.
False cases play havoc with the crime statistics and tend to trivialise the offence of rape.