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Home / India News / How the police trapped gang extorting execs through gay dating app

How the police trapped gang extorting execs through gay dating app

india Updated: Feb 13, 2020 16:44 IST

A Gurugram constable posing as the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company helped catch four gang members red-handed in November after the police received a complaint from the CEO of a Gururgam-based company that he had been duped by the gang after he befriended them on an online dating app for gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The operation was carried out by four teams consisting of 10 police personnel on Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) towards Kherki Daula late in the night as the stretch is not lit well and is hardly used by people at night except truckers, the police said.

So far, only one victim has formally lodged a complaint that a gang member befriended him on Grindr and then blackmailed him. There are at least 150 victims, the gang members who were caught told the police. At least 80 of them have been identified, the police said

Gurugram police commissioner Muhammad Akil said the first incident was reported in the first week of November and it was the first of its kind in the city.

“We formed four teams and with the help of the victim, we traced their {gang members’} mobile numbers. Two of the crime team members were assigned a task to befriend them on dating sites and invite them to the city. After a week of struggle, the suspects fell prey to the trap and visited Sector 29 parking,” he said.

One of the constables, posing as a well-dressed executive wearing a pair of denims and a leather jacket with high-ankle boots reached the spot in a luxury car. “Within minutes one of the suspects knocked the car window and was seated on the front seat. The constable offered to go for a long drive and asked the suspect if he knew some isolated stretch in the city. As suspected, he guided him towards SPR,” said Akil.

After driving for more than half an hour, the suspect allegedly asked him to park the car in an isolated stretch near Sector 72 and started opening his shirt.

“The constable was keeping a close watch on his activities and had noticed him giving missed call to his aides. Two cars of suspects were following them and three cars of police personnel in private cars were behind them. The suspects could not make out that they were trapped and as soon as they intercepted the car of the constable, the police teams surrounded them and caught them red-handed,” said Akil.

Akil said the police recovered data of the victims from the gang members’ laptops and hard disks but the victims refused to lodge complaints, fearing social stigma. The records recovered from the suspects show that more than 300 senior executives had been in touch with them and had shared their details with the suspects without even meeting them.

“We have requested the victims to at least record their statement but they have refused. Out of 150 victims, only five have approached police so far but haven’t lodged any complaint. We have even promised to keep their identities secret but they are not ready to utter a word fearing the gang might tarnish their image on social media by exposing their pictures,” he said.