Mumbai: 3 held in online escort service racket | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai: 3 held in online escort service racket

mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2015 22:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Three men have been arrested by the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai crime branch, for allegedly cheating people across the country through escort websites.

The accused would upload their contact numbers on different websites and take money from people on pretext

providing them women, said the police. The racket was going on for the past six years.

Those arrested have been identified as Vinod Singh, 32, Ankit Pitroda, 24, and Sunil Gupta, 35. Singh runs a security agency while Gupta is unemployed, both live in Bhandup. Pitroda is a garage mechanic and lives in Thane. The three were arrested on Thursday night.

According to the police, on Wednesday, the CCIC office received a phone call from a person, who told them he had been cheated by a racket operating online. He also gave them mobile numbers of some of the racket operators.

The cyber police searched the numbers online, and found them registered on 4-5 escort websites. Realising the call was genuine, the police registered a suo-moto complaint and initiated a probe.

After analysing the phone call details of the suspected numbers and gathering some more information, the CCIC team arrested the three accused from Bhandup. Six mobile phones, 11 SIM cards and Rs49,600 cash has been seized from them.

“The accused would register their phone numbers on some escort websites. When people called them up, they would offer them women from all parts of India, and even from Saudi Arabia and Russia,” said inspector Mukund Pawar of CCIC.

“They would then demand advance payment. The money received, they would cease contact with the victims,” Pawar said.

Since the accused obtained SIM cards on fake documents, they have been booked for forgery also, the police said.

The accused have been charged with obscenity, as to trap victims, they had uploaded obscene pictures of women along with their contact numbers on escort websites.

Officers said though the accused had targeted around 500 people, most victims would not go to the police even after they lost money, fearing social stigma. Police are looking for some more people involved in the racket.