Mangaluru

Two arrested in honeytrap case

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar speaking to the a press conference at his office in Mangaluru on Friday.

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar speaking to the a press conference at his office in Mangaluru on Friday.

The city police have arrested two persons allegedly involved in honeytrapping an astrologer from Chikkamagaluru. The police gave the names of the arrested persons as Bhavya, 30, hailing from Somawarpet in Kodagu district and Kumar alias Raju, 35, hailing from Arkalgud taluk of Hassan district. The two resided in a residential apartment in Mary Hill in the city.

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar told reporters on Friday that Kumar, who worked as a car driver, and Bhavya had been living together for the last two years. Kumar knew the astrologer, who is also a priest, for the last few weeks and called the latter to his apartment in August for performing a “homa”.

According to the priest, Bhavya reportedly made advances and caught that act on camera. Threatening the astrologer of releasing the pictures and video on social media, Bhavya and Kumar reportedly extorted a total of ₹49 lakh from the astrologer on different dates. While ₹15 lakh was taken in cash, the remaining ₹34 lakh was deposited in various accounts mentioned by the arrested persons on different dates.

Mr. Kumar said the arrested persons threatened the astrologer using mobile phones. They posed as activists, mediapersons, and police to threaten the astrologer. The harassment had led the astrologer to attempt suicide.

Following the complaint by the astrologer, the two accused were arrested. The police recovered ₹31,000, two gold rings worth ₹37,000 and their four mobile phones.

As the case involves two districts and investigation has revealed the possibility of more victims, Mr. Kumar said further investigation will be done by Central Crime Branch sleuths. He called upon victims to report to the police about the harassment they have undergone from the arrested persons.

The arrested persons have reportedly used ₹10 lakh of the extorted money to take a residential flat on lease. They have also purchased furniture worth ₹7 lakh and also purchased a two-wheeler using the same money. The two have also visited different places in the country in the last few days. All these aspects were being investigated.

The police is going through the four mobile phones of the arrested persons and other evidence to find other alleged associates. The court has allowed the police to keep the arrested persons in their custody for five days, Mr. Kumar said.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 7:34:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/two-arrested-in-honeytrap-case/article38305581.ece