The accused would chat with rich businessmen in Mumbai posing as a woman and a model, and later blackmail them by threatening to misuse their pictures

An MBA graduate was arrested by Crime Branch’s Anti Extortion CellonTuesday for allegedly blackmailing the director of a prominent multinational company. According to the police, the victim had met the accused Ahmad Shamshul Haq, 32, at a party in the city’s western suburbs when the two exchanged contact details.

Haq told the director that he had contacts of some of the leading models in the film industry. A few days later, an unknown female contacted the victim on WhatsApp and the two soon began chatting and having phone conversations.

The two became close friends and exchanged intimate messages and pictures over time but had never met, the police said. Once the model had the victim’s pictures, she began blackmailing him and demanding money. Meanwhile, Haq, who would meet the director every alternate day, would ask him for money under the pretext of a cash crunch and promised to return it in a few months. Haq had taken around R8 lakh from the victim in this manner.

Once the director began ignoring the model’s chats, she allegedly sent his pictures to his wife. Fed up with this, the director narrated his ordeal to Haq who said that he had not shared his contact with anybody.

“Haq told him that he would find the model and convince her to delete all the pictures. However, in a few days, Haq told the director that the model was demanding R35 lakh to delete everything from her phone,” a police officer said.

There was no model

The director agreed on the condition that he would want to meet her but Haq kept ignoring it. The director then got suspicious and approached the police who registered an FIR under sections 384 and 385 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code.

With help from the Cyber Cell, the police found that it was Haq who had been chatting and speaking to the victim in a female voice. The police laid a trap where a meeting was arranged between Haq and the victim and Haq was arrested when he arrived to receive the money.

The police also found two mobile phones that Haq used to contact the director and to chat with businessmen as a woman. Investigation revealed that four more people working in multinational companies had been cheated by Haq. The accused has been remanded to police custody till April 30.

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