Chandigarh, May 31
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, and Mohit Bharadwaj and Arjun Thakur of Chandigarh.
DGP Gaurav Yadav said 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.
Three operatives arrested in a major breakthrough by the State Special Operations Cell - Extortion racket backed by Lawrence Bishnoi gang busted— DGP Punjab Police (@DGPPunjabPolice) May 31, 2023
The accused were using online gambling platforms to lure and dupe innocent citizens. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/nBqlNq8Yss
Those arrested have been identified as Rohit Bharadwaj @ Rimmi of #Zirakpur, Mohit Bharadwaj & Arjun Thakur of #Chandigarh— DGP Punjab Police (@DGPPunjabPolice) May 31, 2023
Seizure of Rs 14.78 lakh from their possession@PunjabPoliceInd is fully committed to safeguarding all citizens as per directions of CM @BhagwantMann (2/2)
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 an online gambling platform to lure victims by convincing them to join online gaming and betting on a nominal fee to gain great profits.
“After winning some rewards, the victim would start to lose money in betting and then, accused persons would offer money on credit starting from lakhs,” he said, adding that once the victim availed the credit, accused persons used to charge hefty interest on the amount, which could sometimes accumulate 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 night clubs, bars and businessmen in Mohali and Chandigarh, he said.
Meanwhile, a case 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.
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