Kochi: The Police on Sunday arrested four persons, including a woman, for allegedly blackmailing an expat industrialist into paying them Rs 50 lakh by using his "compromising" pictures.
The accused were identified as Savad H (25), a native of Payyanoor, Mary Varghese (26), a resident of Thoppumpaddy, Askar M (25), hailing from Thaliparambu near Kannur, and Mohammed Shafeek (27) of Kannur Kadannapally.
According to police, the gang trapped the industrialist while in Qatar.
"The woman had first sent a message to the victim through Facebook and the latter responded. Soon she succeeded in establishing a friendship and later invited him to a rented lodge. The other accused had installed a camera in the room and allegedly shot his compromising pictures with her when he arrived," the sources said.
After the industrialist returned to his native place, the gang sent "compromising" pictures to his phone and blackmailed him, asking him to pay Rs 50 lakh. However, the victim lodged a complaint with the Central Police which caught the gang members following an investigation.
"During a probe conducted through friends in Qatar, we got information about the persons who rented out the room. The accused then sent some money to the account of Savad as demanded by the gang," police said.
A probe based on the bank details found that the money was withdrawn at an ATM in Kannur and a police team immediately chased the gang.
They managed to unearth the secret mobile number used by the gang and finally nabbed the members at a lodge near Bengaluru.
"They were presented before a magistrate. A probe is on whether the gang had cheated anyone else in the same manner," they said.