Cuttack: The City police on Friday arrested three members of an organised racket which collected huge amounts of extortion money by making ransom calls from international numbers.
Acting on a tip-off, police raided in CDA area here and seized 104 ATM cards and Rs 54,900 from the accused. Further investigation revealed that the racketeers had collected Rs 10 lakh from an elderly woman of Rajnandgaon through an extortion call from a number that appeared to be a Pakistan number.
All the money collected from various persons were being deposited in fake bank account numbers and one such account led police to Cuttack’s CDA area.
Basing on information from Rajnandgaon police that extortion money was trailed to an account opened in the name of Sonu Singh, a resident at CDA, a team of Markatnagar police raided the house located in Sector 9 and apprehended a youth, who was later identified as Dhiraj Kumar Rao, a native of West Champaran district in Bihar.
Rao, a B Tech graduate from a Bhubaneswar-based engineering college, had been residing in the rented house. Later, police verified that Sonu Singh was the fake identity Rao had adopted to open the bank account. It was the photograph attached in the bank document which exposed his fraud.
Later, basing on Rao’s confession, Markat Nagar police arrested two more members, including Swapna Sajit Pradhan of Puri and Janmenjay Das of Kendrapara. Pradhan and Das are working as technician and accountant respectively at a hospital in CDA and had opened fake bank accounts to siphon off the extortion money on commission basis.
The accused trio has been handed over to Chhattisgarh police.