A 26-year-old man, who allegedly blackmailed a doctor he had met in Saudi Arabia in 2017 with morphed photos, was arrested by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch this week.
The accused, Mohammad Tabish Malik, a resident of Jogeshwari, had befriended the doctor in October 2017 while working at a mall in Taif city in Saudi Arabia.
The doctor, who is from J&K, was working at a hospital in Taif. Police said Malik claimed he wasn’t paid regularly by his employers at the mall. “The doctor felt sorry for him and helped him out. But as they kept in touch over the next year, Malik stole all the data from the doctor’s phone and left Saudi Arabia on September 26 this year,” said a Crime Branch official.
Malik, police said, edited a few of the doctor’s pictures he had stolen from her phone in an obscene manner and sent them to her. He allegedly threatened to send the pictures to all her contacts unless she paid him Rs 2 lakh immediately. “When the accused sent the pictures to some of her contacts, the doctor panicked and sent him Rs 20,000 expecting the blackmail to stop,” a police officer said.
The doctor then came to Mumbai and registered a complaint at Meghwadi police station in Jogeshwari east. Crime Branch officials added that it was initially difficult to track Malik as he had used phone numbers registered in Saudi Arabia and several encrypted texting and video calling applications to communicate with the doctor. Earlier this week, the Crime Branch traced Malik to Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, and took him into custody. “He wanted to open a salon there and had planned to raise the money required by blackmailing the doctor,” the officer said.