The Pune city police have arrested nine people from Bengaluru for allegedly threatening and extorting money from a Pune resident after forcing her to take a loan from an app. The police now suspect that the accused have acquired data of thousands of mobile phone users and set up a fake call centre to commit the crimes.
The police identified the accused, who were arrested on Tuesday, as Vighnesh Manjunath, Ganesh Subbaraidu, Parvati Santosh Das, Ashwini Murugan, Shilpa Gauda, Priya S and Deepika L. The accused were produced before a Pune court on Wednesday and were remanded to police custody till October 7.
The 30-year-old woman had lodged a first information report (FIR) at the Pune City Cyber Police Station on August 16, saying that she got a call on her cell phone number regarding a ‘loan app’ and was asked to download the online loan application on her cell phone. Later, even though she did not need the money, a certain amount of loan was sanctioned in her name, the police said. The accused then started contacting the woman asking her to repay the loan. They allegedly morphed her photograph with obscene images and circulated these to people in her phone’s contact list. After the threats, the woman allegedly transferred about Rs 1.11 lakh into different bank accounts.
After receiving the complaint, a team from the Pune City Cyber Police Station launched a probe and arrested the nine accused. According to the police, the alleged crime took place between February 14 and June 10.
Recently, 25-year-old Sohail Shaikh, a resident of Viman Nagar in Pune, died by suicide after being threatened and abused after taking a loan from an app. His father, Javed Shaikh, had lodged a complaint at Airport Police Station.