A newly-married stock trader from central Mumbai wanted to make friends online. But things turned ugly when one such friend asked him to pose nude during a video chat and recorded the session. The victim was threatened to cough up money or find the video uploaded on Facebook and sent to his relatives.
According to the Sion police, a 30-year old man (name withheld to protect identity) had approached them earlier this month, stating he was being extorted by someone he had befriended online.
A police officer said the victim and the accused got in touch through an instant messaging service and gradually became good friends. They had a lurid conversation after which they decided to video chat.
“During one such conversation, the accused asked him to pose nude and the unsuspecting victim complied. He was shocked when the culprit told him the chat was recorded and demanded Rs80,000 from him,” an officer from Sion police station said.
The police suspect that this online friend was known to the victim and had laid a trap to extort from him. “It is also possible that the demand was only to threaten the victim; the real motive could well be mental harassment,” the officer added.
The Sion police have registered a case against an unknown person under sections 385 (putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code as well as under sections 66A (sending offensive, annoying or threatening email, SMS or MMS) and 66E (violation of bodily privacy of a person) of the Information Technology Act.
“The case is being investigated from all possible angles. We are trying to trace the IP address that the culprit was using to chat with the victim,” senior police inspector Baburao Gavit said.
Somendra Sharma l @s_somen