Amidst the ongoing drive to make Punjab a safe and secure state as per the vision of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Police have busted an extortion racket— backed by gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, with the arrest of its three operatives, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav here on Wednesday.
Those arrested have been identified as Rohit Bharadwaj alias Rimmi of Zirakpur, Mohit Bharadwaj of Chandigarh and Arjun Thakur of Chandigarh. DGP Gaurav Yadav said that following a detailed investigation and intelligence-gathering in this case, the State Special Operation Cell, Mohali had initiated swift and coordinated action which led to the arrest of these three persons found involved in operating an extortion racket.
The Police teams have also recovered cash worth Rs 14.78 lakh from the possession of accused Rohit Bhardwaj alias Rimmi and other incriminating evidence from the mobile phones recovered from accused persons.
ONLINE GAMBLING PLATFORMS USED TO DUPE PEOPLE
Divulging details about modus-operandi, the DGP said that the arrested persons were using online gambling platform ‘Diamond Exchange’ to lure victims by convincing them to join online gaming and betting on a nominal fee to gain great profits.
“After winning some rewards, certainly, the victim would start to to lose money in betting and then, accused persons would offer money on credit starting from lakhs,” he said, adding that once the victim avail the credit, accused persons used to charge hefty interest on the amount, which could sometimes accumulated to crores of rupees.
DGP Gaurav Yadav said that when the victim shows unwillingness to return the money, the offenders would make threatening calls to them through their gangster associates sitting in Jail and abroad.
During investigation, Police teams have verified various payment gateways and the bank accounts to which the money was transferred, he said, adding that proceedings to freeze the bank accounts linked to the activities of the accused have been initiated.
Investigations are on to identify the owner of the fraudulent website and location from where they are operating them, he said. Giving more details, AIG SSOC SAS Nagar Ashwani Kapur said that the arrested accused persons were working from a rented flat in Sector 69 of SAS Nagar.
Accused persons are believed to have played instrumental roles in executing extortion activities at the behest of Lawrence Bishnoi Gang from NightClub, Bar owners and businessmen in Mohali and Chandigarh, he said.
Meanwhile, a case FIR No 9 dated 29/05/23 has been registered under sections 384, 506 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 25 (7) of the Arms Act at Police Station SSOC Mohali.