Mangaluru, March 25, 2018: Many incidents are taking place in the city, and keep happening, but only some muster courage to report it to the police, while a majority of people maintain secrecy on such incidents of blackmail, and suffer huge financial losses, fearing that their reputation and social standing are at stake.
Soon after spending a day with an escort, a man was approached by a gang who demanded that he pay Rs 2 lakh or else they will upload his ‘happy moments’ with the woman online, and also send it to his family. The man then negotiated with his blackmailers and managed to pay them some money, which silenced them, but did not approach the police on the issue.
Those who set honeytraps see three criteria in their target: Craze for women, their money and most of all their reputation in society, says a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity. Explaining their modus operandi, he explains that people running this racket befriend people matching these criteria and slowly lure them with women. After the target is with the woman, they go to a location arranged by the perpetrators setting the honeytrap. They then either take pictures of them in compromising positions with the women by use of force, or film them secretly. After that they start demanding money, which runs into lakhs. A year ago, a reputed radiologist from a private city hospital was forced to pay Rs 14 lakh in such a case.
The police officer added that those falling prey to honeytraps stay silent on the issue if the gang demands money only once. However, out of greed, if a gang starts pestering the victim for more money, the victim becomes restless and starts knocking on the doors of the police.
Explaining about the girls who are used as honeytraps, the officer said they are either accomplices or invited from far-off places as escorts. Some girls do not know that they are being used as honeytraps, and are sent back soon after the work is done.
Some perpetrators click photos of couples in parks, and threaten to show it to their family members, if they don’t cough up money. “We have come across such cases in Mangaluru city, where people click pictures of couples sitting in isolated places, parks or other places. Later, those taking the pictures approach the couples, and threaten to send the pictures to their families. Fearing a scandal, the couple give whatever is demanded by the blackmailer,” another police officer adds. One such incident was recently reported in Panambur beach.
“Whenever someone finds himself in such a situation, it’s better to report it to us with relevant details,” say police sources, who assure that they will keep the identity of people secret.