Chennai

Duo held for seeking bribes from accused, posing as CBI officers

Suspects tricked complainants by spoofing agency’s landline number

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday arrested two suspects for demanding huge bribes purportedly on behalf of, and in the name of, CBI officers from persons accused of involvement in cases of bank fraud.

The duo had made multiple calls to the complainants, posing as senior investigators and making it seem as if they were calling from the landline number of the CBI headquarters.

The agency registered a case on Wednesday based on a specific input that the suspects, Selvam Ramaraj of Madurai and Y. Manivardhan Reddy of Hyderabad, along with a few others, had been threatening different individuals facing cases with central law enforcement agencies. In one instance, they contacted an accused in a bank fraud case registered by the CBI and demanded a huge amount of money in the name of senior officials.

Malicious software

They used a malicious software to duplicate the landline telephone number (011-24302700) of the CBI, installed at its head office in New Delhi, and made several calls to the accused, claiming to be senior CBI officers from New Delhi.

They demanded bribes for getting them favours in the case. The suspects made similar calls to accused involved in other criminal cases booked by central agencies.

On January 4, 2020, Manivardhan Reddy even travelled to Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) and met an accused in a CBI case and demanded money in the name of senior investigators. He threatened the accused with dire consequences if the money was not paid in two days.

The CBI registered a case against the suspects on charges of Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) read with the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It also booked the duo under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Special teams conducted simultaneous searches on their premises in Chennai, Madurai, Sivakasi and Hyderabad, leading to the seizure of several mobile phones, incriminating WhatsApp communication and documents relating to the allegations.

‘Lot of money’

Asked if the duo received any money from victims (accused in CBI cases), a CBI official said there was information that they had received a lot of money taking the names of senior officers. “We are going into the details of this information. Enquiries will made with every individual with whom the two contacted or sent messages,” the official said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:27:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/duo-held-for-seeking-bribes-from-accused-posing-as-cbi-officers/article30597034.ece

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