UNIQUE CASE OF EXTORTION THROUGH INTERNET
- ACCUSED EXTORTING MONEY THROUGH INTERNET ARRESTED !
- EXTORTIONIST CLAIMED TO BE AMEMBER OF SOME DUBAI BASED HALALA GROUP !
- DEMANDED RS. 2.2 CRORES AS PROTECTION MONEY THROUGH E-MAIL !
The Police in its effort to crackdown on ‘Crimes of Persuasion’, has arrested an accused Nasir a resident of U.P., involved in an elaborate extortion racket, run exclusively through Cyber Networks from Delhi, Noida, Dehradun, Moradabad and Agra.
A prominent exporter based in Delhi and Moradabad has made a complaint to Police wherein it was alleged that he and his son had received an email message on 20.12.05, from unknown persons claiming themselves to be a hit cum collection squad of some Dubai based ‘Halala Group’. The email claimed that the group was in the business of ‘protection’. The alleged sender of the email possessed detailed information about the complainant’s family. The sender of the email used the email ID email@example.com and signed as Chengez Babar.
The email claimed that the Group had now started operations in Delhi and the NCR Region and dealt solely with Protection Money. It was only after assessing the total ‘net worth’, the liquidity of the complainant, that a ‘figure’ was put on him. The total net worth of the complainant was claimed to be anywhere between 20 crores to 35 crores. The protection money initially demanded was Rs 1.1 crores payable in two to three instalments. The email assured that this payment would ensure complete protection from all smaller gangs operating in the region for the next 10 years. The sender of the email claimed that the complainant would be given a ‘Customer Number’, and a Dubai based phone number, which would be accessible round the clock, as an online service. However after the end of the first 10 year period, the net worth of the complainant would be assessed again, and he would be liable to pay up a certain amount !
The email claimed that the ‘Group’ was a very professional organization and once a person had been targeted to make a payment, they never left him. He either paid, or ceased to live. The Group’s success rate was more than 98 %, where the target had paid up without resistance. The email claimed that several local teams operated in the area, who had gathered intelligence on the complainant and his family members, his business, movements, and above all their weaknesses. The email categorically claimed that whenever they encountered resistance from a target, the local teams, cause harm, through various means and keep on doing it, till the moment the target paid up.
The email was sent from a Cyber Cafe in Lajpat Nagar. Within two days another email was sent to the official email ID of the complainant. This time however the email was sent from a different Cyber Cafe in East of Kailash. At exactly the same time similar emails were sent to another prominent exporter of Delhi with business contacts in Moradabad. The emails appeared to have been written in perfect grammatical English was evidently the handiwork of an educated person.
Neither of the intended targets responded to the emails. However, another threatening e-mail was received on the email ID of the complainants this time from a Cyber Cafe in Sector 26 Noida. The extortionist demaned Rs 2.2 crores and threatened that in case of delay in the payment of the protection money, the complainant’s wife, children or the complainant himself would be killed. As the extortionist was quite persistent in his demands and kept on sending emails a case FIR was registered and investigation was taken up by the Police. Another case was also registered on the basis of a different complaint and investigations were taken up separately by the local police.
However, the events took a turn for the worst when the next email received by the complainant, was found to have been sent from Dehradun, where the grandchildren of the complainant studied. A special team of police was formed to investigate the case and catch the culprits. Although the extortionist used the name i.e. Changez Babar, he used two different email IDs namely, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. In order to track the extortionist down a separate email id firstname.lastname@example.org was created toÂ communicate with the suspect. It was also decided that all communications would be carried out the by the police, to facilitate faster tracking.
It became a cat and mouse game between the police team and the extortionist. Between 1.2.09 and 20.2.09, a total of 10 emails were exchanged with the alleged accused. These e-mail correspondences were all tracked and it was found that they had originated from various Cyber Cafes in Noida, Dehradoon, Agra & Moradabad. With police teams deployed at all these places a profile of the suspect was built up. From descriptions obtained from the Cybe Cafes it became clear that, one person, speaking fluent English, age around 40 years, with dark completion, round face short hair and a moustache, was sending these emails. From the contents of the email it was evident that the alleged had intimate knowledge of the brass-handicraft- export business.
Through subtle hints that payments are being arranged the extortionist was slowly sucked into a trap to the point that he became careless in his approach. Being in the same business, and from an analysis of the contents of the email, it was evident that the suspect would also be participating in the same Expo. This guess proved correct as all the emails between, 13.2.09 to 22.2.09 all originated from different Cyber Cafes in Noida and Greater Noida and that too between 6 and 10 pm, after the Expo closed.
In order to keep the extortionist hooked, emails were sent carrying photographs of the money arranged in a bag as if the complainant was ready to pay up all the money. With the money in sight, the suspect became careless and impatient in his approach. The locations of all the Cyber Cafes used so far in Noida and Greater Noida were mapped and it was found that they fell in a straight road from Delhi to Gretaer Noida, through Sector 18, 26, 27, 53 and 61. The analysis revealed a clear cut pattern in the movements of the accused. A survey of all the Cyber Cafes in these sectors was carried out and it was deduced that that there were about seven cyber cafes in these sectors which had not been used. There was a strong possibility that the CafÃ© in Sector 18 would be used as those in Sector 26 and 53 had already been used. Based on this analysis and deduction, police teams were deployed in all the identified Cyber Cafes not used by the suspect till date.
On 22.02.06, the accused NasirÂ reached the Cyber Cafe at, Sector-18, Noida, UP at around 8 pm and access the Internet and opened the e-mail box of email@example.com. The accused Nasir was caught red handed accessing the net and e-mail box of firstname.lastname@example.org by the police team stationed there. He has signed on the register itself as Changez Babar and had also purchased a Sify card with a unique number to access the Internet. The print out of the inbox and sent item folder of e-mail box of email@example.com was taken on the spot and the entire correspondence between the alleged person and the complainant was recovered from the e-mail box. Further, at the instance of the accused various raids were conducted at Moradabad, Agra and the computer as well as laptop containing incriminating material was recovered.
The interrogation of the accused reveal that he was also sending the extortion mails to one other exporter. The accused Nasir is a well educated person and based in U.P. Recently he had been slighted by one of the intended victims and started sending him these emails to trouble him. He also was quite jealous of the success and fame of the complainant and wanted to divert his attention so that his business suffered. Amazingly, he did succeed to a great extent.
Case is under trial in Delhi Court.