Mangaluru

Four held for honeytrapping Kerala transport operator

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar addressing a press conference at his office in Mangaluru on Monday.  

The police have arrested four persons, including two women, on the charge of honeytrapping a Kerala-based transport operator and demanding a ransom from him. The police are on the lookout for five more persons said to be associates of the accused.

The accused are said to be involved in six more such cases.

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar on Monday gave the names of the accused as Reshma alias Neema (32), Iqbal Mohammed alias Iqbal (35), Zeenat alias Zeenat Mubeen (28) and Nasif alias Abdul Khader Nasif (25). All the accused hailed from Kerala and lived in Surathkal.

Mr. Kumar told reporters here that the incident came to light after investigation of a video that was circulated on the social media about a Kerala-based man being assaulted in a room in Kumbla for a ransom of ₹ 5 lakh.

He said that Reshma, who earned a living by rolling beedis, and Zeenat, an insurance agent, had created fake Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and projected themselves as lonely women. They were chatting with people through these social media accounts and inviting them over to their houses where the other accused would join to extort the victims after taking photographs and videos of the latter in compromising positions. Investigation has revealed that there were seven such victims, including the transport operator.

The transport operator, the police said, got in touch with Reshma on January 14 through Facebook where the two exchanged their mobile phone numbers. He was invited to Surathkal where Reshma picked him up and took him to her house in Krishnapura Katipalla where the three other accused were present. The transport operator was forced to undress and his photos and videos were taken. The accused assaulted him and demanded a ransom of ₹ 5 lakh. They also threatened him that they would file a sexual assault case against him.

Having paid ₹ 30,000 to the accused, the victim filed a complaint with the Surathkal Police on January 16. A team led by Surathkal Police Inspector Chandrappa K. arrested the accused. A sports utility vehicle that belonged to Reshma, four ATM and credit cards and four mobile phones were seized from the accused.

Going through the chats on WhatsApp and Facebook, the police found the involvement of the accused in six more honey-trapping incidents. Mr. Kumar asked such victims to approach the police and report their case.

The accused, Mr. Kumar said, lived a luxurious life. Evidence gathered so far revealed the involvement of the accused in honey-trapping for the last eight months. “They have deleted conversations they had had with those who have already paid and retained only those chats from whom they are yet to get money,” Mr. Kumar said.

The police is investigating the alleged links of the accused with gangs associated with past incidents of honey-trapping, he said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:52:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/four-held-for-honeytrapping-kerala-transport-operator/article33604413.ece

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