A five-member gang, which included a woman, allegedly involved in an extortion case, was busted and the members arrested when they were trying to flee the city at Rushikonda here on Tuesday.

The five accused were identified as A Sandeep (21), K Venugopal (32), A Venkat (31), A Venkata Ramani (43) and P.L. Aachari (32). Four of them are related, while P.L. Aachari is a family friend. The five hatched a conspiracy to cheat the proprietor of a computer centre located at Leela Mahal junction.

Giving details to the media on Tuesday, Police Commissioner B. Shivadhar Reddy said that on June 14 the accused went to the computer centre around 3 p.m. and introduced themselves as officials of the Enforcement Directorate and one of the accused claimed to be from the media.

Demand Rs. 3 lakh

They asked the proprietor, G. Srinivasa Raju, to pay up Rs.3 lakh as fine for failing to maintain the records in a proper manner. When Mr. Raju expressed his inability to pay such a large amount of money, they snatched Rs.25,000 from the cash box and demanded an additional Rs.25,000.

They said that the remaining amount should be paid at RK Beach the same evening, failing which they would ensure closure of the computer centre.

Mr. Raju suspected them to be impostors. He along with three other friends went to meet the accused. They caught P.L. Aachari, who went to collect the money, but he gave them the slip.

Mr. Raju lodged a complaint with the Three Town Police the same night. Mr. Shivadhar Reddy said a car, a knife, a journalist identity card of a magazine and Rs.20,000 were seized from the accused.

The gang members were also involved in crimes in the past. Mr Reddy appreciated the efforts made by the investigating officers, Inspector of Police S Tata Rao, SI N Srinivas Rao and ASI Md. Younis in the arrest of the accused.

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