Haryana police arrested six people in connection with the death-threat and extortion calls that were received by four MLAs between June 24 and June 26. The MLAs had received these calls from multiple phone numbers tracing to countries in the Middle East.
FIRs were lodged and the investigation was assigned to STF by Haryana DGP PK Agrawal. Police said that “technical analysis of these mobile numbers from which the alleged threat calls and messages were sent, confirmed that the numbers were registered in the Middle Eastern countries and were being operated from Pakistan. Some ex-MLAs of Punjab had also received similar threats from these numbers. Different conversational styles such as like Mumbaikar tone and Punjabi language, were used during these conversations with these MLAs”. Inspector General of Police (STF) Satish Balan had formed an SIT under the leadership of Sumit Kumar, SP (STF) to investigate these cases. The SIT included STF units that were led by DSP Sandeep Dhankhar, and DSP Surendra Kinha.
The two-week long operation was monitored and supervised by DGP PK Agrawal. STF, in coordination with the central agencies, conducted a technical analysis of these mobile numbers and IP addresses. This involved five separate teams working on this technical analysis.
While working on this link, STF prepared a strategic plan through which STF teams started receiving these threat and extortion calls. STF then strategically crafted a plan and accordingly asked the account number and mobile numbers to complete the transaction with the extortionists. To track these account numbers, two parallel teams conducted raids across Mumbai and Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
The first arrests were made by this team. Two members of the gang including Dulesh Alam, resident of village Damavara, Bihar; and Badre Alam, resident of village Bigra, District Basti, Uttar Pradesh, were arrested from Mumbai. “They were found in the possession of approximately 20 Passbook/Cheque Books, 18 ATMs, 14 fake sim cards, 1 diary and 5 mobile phones”, a police spokesperson said.
Similarly, from Muzaffarpur, Bihar, STF arrested four culprits, including Amit Yadav aka Radhe Shyam Yadav (resident of Hajiapur, District Gopalgunj, Bihar); Saddiq Anwar (resident of village Turkoliya Fatehtola, District Motihari, Bihar); Sanoj Kumar (resident of Porkharera, District Muzaffarpur, Bihar); and Kash Alam (resident of village Damavara, District Betia, Bihar).
“These culprits were found to be in possession of 2 Passbook/Cheque book, 2 diaries, 1 register, 42 sim cards, 19 mobile phones, 37 ATMs. Till date, a total of 55 ATMs, 24 mobile phones, 56 sim cards, 22 Passbook/Cheque books, Rs. 3,97,000/-, one car TATA Punch, 3 diaries and 1 register have been found in the possession of the culprits”, a police spokesperson added. “It was found that these culprits often enticed poor or common people by offering them 15-20 thousand rupees and convinced them to open bank accounts and would then keep all the documents (Passbook/ Cheque book/ATM Card/ATM Pin) with themselves and would buy fake sim cards to operate these accounts. During these raids, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, STF Bihar and Bihar Police offered complete support to STF. While interrogation, the STF found approximately 10 Pakistani residents through whom the threats and extortion were routed”, police said.
On the accused’s possible terrorist links, the police spokesperson said, “It is important to clarify that these accused do not belong to any criminal gang or terrorist organisation. This in fact is a gang of very sharp criminals who are involved in professional fraud, money laundering and have their members across Pakistan, Middle East and India.
People sitting across these other countries would entice victims by naming “Kaun Banega Crorepati” or lotteries or by extortion calls and would make them transfer money to the account numbers given by Dullish or Amit. Dulesh and Amit then either withdraw this money via ATMs or would transfer this amount to the Indian accounts of their Pakistan based gang members”.