Updated: August 30, 2021 8:47:26 am
The Delhi Police Crime Branch arrested four men, including a movie producer, for allegedly posing as Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials and extorting money from hundreds of people.
The producer, Santosh Rai, is allegedly involved in more than 35 cases of cheating and extortion across India. He also produced a Bollywood movie with the cheated money, said police. In 2008, he was convicted by the Saket court for cheating but later got out on bail.
Earlier this month, the Directorate in Delhi received several complaints against an “ED official” named Rajeev Singh. While there is no one by that name, officials found that the man was posing as an ED officer, sending fake notices to people, and asking for money.
Monika Bhardwaj, DCP (Crime Branch), said, “We examined all calls and notices and found that the accused persons were using apps to send spoof e-mails from the National Informatics Centre mail id (government mail). They were also making calls from different government office numbers (using spoof apps) to threaten the victims. They wanted the victims to feel that government officers are contacting them.”
The investigating team contacted one of the victims, a businessman named Mohammad Rafi, and “laid a trap” by asking the accused to come collect the money. On Saturday, police arrested Rai and his associate Bhupender Singh near Parliament Street when they came to get the extortion money from the victim.
While Rai used the name Rajeev Singh to cheat people, Bhupender Singh posed as his advocate. Police said Singh works at a law firm in Patiala House court and used the lawyers’ chambers to call victims and threaten them with legal action.
During questioning, police found that the duo worked with a murder accused named Afzal Ahmed, who is out on parole, and a cyber expert named Akash Chauhan.
“The notices were prepared by Rai and sent by Chauhan. They were using spoofing apps and sending emails with the id ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Rai also made calls by spoofing landline numbers of ED and several Delhi Police establishments to threaten the victim. Ahmed and Chauhan are absconding,” said DCP Bhardwaj.
Police also arrested Singh’s friend Kuldeep who runs a factory and another associate named Sanjay who works with the victim. “Sanjay was asked to watch the businessman and inform the other accused about his plans. The other men would call the victim and threaten him,” said police.
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