Paytm employee allegedly steals data from CEO’s laptop, demands 20 crore
Three persons, including a woman employee of an e-wallet giant located in Sector 5, were arrested by the Sector 20 police on Monday for allegedly stealing personal and confidential data from the founder’s laptop and threatening to leak the information if they are not paid ₹20 crore.
The woman employee of Paytm founder and chief executive officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who had access to Sharma’s personal laptop, had allegedly stolen the data and was blackmailing him to cough up ₹20 crore, alleged the management of Paytm. Besides her, the other two arrested included her husband, a property dealer, and Devendra Kumar, another employee of Paytm.
Ajay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm founder’s brother and senior vice-president of the company, said, “She was working for my brother for nearly 10 years. She had access to his files. She and her husband came up with the plan to steal private and financial information. They roped in a senior manager in the administration section of the company, Devendra Kumar, who then approached one of his acquaintances, Rohit Chomal, a resident of Kolkata, to blackmail us.” Company officials insist that only confidential data and private information of the owner, and no user data, was stolen.
“The first call came on September 20. My brother received a call around 11am and I received one around 4pm. The caller, Chomal, claimed to have access to the data and threatened to leak it if we don’t pay him ₹20 crore. After a few more calls, we transferred ₹2 lakh on October 15 to the bank account he gave us. The caller then asked us to keep another ₹10 crore ready. We asked him to at least tell us what kind of data he had with him and how he came across it. Chomal then told us how our woman employee, her husband and Devendra had stolen the information and planned the whole thing,” Ajay said.
He said they approached the police and filed a complaint at the Sector 20 police station.
In a statement released to the media, a Paytm spokesperson said,“Noida police has arrested three persons, including one woman employee of Paytm, in a case of extortion. The employee along with two other accomplices attempted to extort money from Vijay Shekhar Sharma on the pretext of leaking his personal data. We are standing by our colleagues till the police inquiry reaches its meaningful conclusion.” The police have registered a case.