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4 cops among 15 nabbed in Noida for extorting men with fake sexual assault cases

Police said that the women gang members would target vehicles on the roads under the Sector-44 police post jurisdiction.

noida Updated: Jun 12, 2019 13:01 IST
Tanmayee Tyagi
Tanmayee Tyagi
Hindustan Times, Noida
15 people arrested,Sector-44 police post,SSP Vaibhav Krishna
15 people were arrested for allegedly running a racket in which they would blackmail men with false cases of rape and harassment.(HT file Photo)

Four policemen and two women were among the 15 people arrested from Noida on Monday for allegedly running a racket in which they would blackmail men with false cases of rape and harassment.

Police suspect the gang may have duped at least 15 people in the past six months and extorted at least Rs. 20 lakh.

The racket was busted after a victim approached the police on Monday.

Police said that the women gang members would target vehicles on the roads under the Sector-44 police post jurisdiction.

“They would ensure that the only person in the vehicle would be the driver, a man. The woman would then ask for a ride giving some alibi. Once inside, they would start talking to the men and say that they are on a lookout for a job. In this manner, they would exchange numbers,” said the SSP Vaibhav Krishna.

The gang members would have already decided a location where the woman would ask to be dropped. There, the police vehicle drivers, who are not from the police department, in the gang would be waiting, said police.

“Once there, the woman would then accuse the victim man of harassing or raping them. The police vehicle driver would then take him to the Sector 44 police post where the police post in-charge, Sunil Sharma, would threaten him with legal action,” said SSP Krishna.

To add pressure on the victim, a few other people, pretending to be from women’s side, would then reach the police post.

“One of them, Deshraj Awana, would pretend to be some sort of well connected person and interested in the case. Another person, Suresh Kumar, would pretend to be a lawyer and would write a formal complaint against the victim. The in-charge would then suggest that the two parties compromise in exchange for a hefty sum of money,” said the SSP. “In case the victim couldn’t pay the money immediately, they would keep the car at the police post and release it after payment.”

On Monday, the victim who approached the police said his car was at the police post.

“Based on this information, we took a team and reached outside the Sector 44 police post. We laid a trap in which we asked the victim to comply with their demands. We caught two constables red-handed accepting the Rs.50,000 bribe. The whole operation was exposed after the constables were questioned,” said SSP Krishna. “So far we have traced three victims who paid Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 2.5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh. The maximum they have extorted is Rs. 6 lakh. We are working on identifying the other victims.”

Police officials said 40% of the share of the money extorted went to Sharma while 30% went to the mastermind, a man named Ankit. Ten per cent went to Awana and the rest was equally distributed among the others.

“The chowki in-charge came here in the first week of March and had been posted at Wishtown police post under expressway police before that. We are working to see if they have carried out such cases there as well. Sharma had been introduced to Ankit by a person Hari Om Sharma, who was also arrested. Ankit had said that he was a coconut water vendor in Wishtown. It was he who brought in the women, one of whom, Vineeta (30), is his wife,” said the SSP Krishna.

In addition to Sharma and the three constables, three police vehicle drivers, were also among those arrested, including Ankit, Awana, Hari Om and the so-called lawyer. Police officials said that there is another woman who is involved in the syndicate and they are working on nabbing her.

Ankit had been jailed in 2014 and 2017 along with the other two women from Faridabad for running a similar racket there, said police.

The suspects were booked under sections 384 (extortion) and 120 B (conspiracy) of the India Penal Code and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The police personnel have been suspended, a circle officer will head the investigation and SP (city) Sudha Singh will carry out a departmental enquiry.

The suspects were produced before a magistrate and later sent to jail.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 13:01 IST