The police here arrested two women and busted a gang involving at least 18 more who allegedly targeted young men and threatened them with false rape allegations if they did not pay up lakhs of rupees, officials said.The racket involved running an escort service that acted as a conduit to put the women in touch with their targets, most of whom were young professionals working in the National Capital Region (NCR) centred on Delhi.“In the latest case, a woman lodged a gangrape case against three software developers on May 20 at DLF Phase 3 police station alleging they had raped her when she visited one of her friends. During preliminary investigation, we found that one of the men was not even in the city,” said Muhammad Akil, commissioner of police.The woman and another female accomplice were arrested while accepting an instalment of Rs 50,000 at DLF Phase 3 on Thursday, following which they were questioned. “They confessed and we have recovered a list of victims,” said Akil. The information provided during the questioning suggested that at least 50 men may have been targeted and the amount of money extorted could run into several crores, though no estimate was made available, he added.The victim in the recent case claimed he befriended the woman after signing up on an escort service last month. “On May 18, she spent the night in my room where roommates were also present and refused to leave next morning. She threatened to lodge a false rape case and asked me to get married to her. When I refused, she demanded Rs 5 lakh,” he said, asking not to be identified. On May 20, he received a call from Delhi Police informing him that he and his friends had been booked for rape, the police commissioner said, adding that they also reached out to the local police.“We took out their call detail records and checked their messages and calls. We found out that the woman was lying and was trying to extort money from them. It was a racket operating out of Delhi and the gang members had in the past targeted many other working professionals,” said Karan Goyal, assistant commissioner of police (DLF).The men would also be videographed during intimate moments and threatened that the videos would be leaked online, the officer added. The police asked the victim to make calls to the woman and ensure all conversations are recorded, which gave more indications of the nature of the case.The women, the official added, lived in Delhi’s Tilak Nagar. Police have now reached out to their counterparts in NCR cities and are looking for the leader of the gang.