The police said Pranay Tiwari, 27, who would demand anywhere between Rs 1 and Rs 5 crore, was arrested after an operation by police from four states – Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Chhattisgarh – worked together on the case.
Customers would mostly fill out feedback forms in the hope of receiving discounts, he said. Since the accused had a lot of personal information acquired from the feedback forms, such as birthday and anniversary dates, he would stun his victims by revealing these details in his extortion SMSes, the officer said.
Delhi police arrested Pranay based on a complaint that was filed a few days ago by a businessman who claimed to have received a phone call from Pranay posing as Rizwan, demanding Rs 1 crore. He had threatened to harm him and the members of his family if he had failed to comply with his demands, police said.
It was found during preliminary inquiry that several businessmen not just in Delhi but across the country, received calls from the same mobile number. The extortion calls made from different locations showed a similar pattern. Pranay would claim that the victims were under surveillance.
As part of the operation carried out by the police, they studied Pranay’s pattern and conducted raids, tracing his location to Ratehara in Rewa. Police followed the complaint made by the businessman and contacted Pranay asking him to collect the money that he had demanded. The Crime Branch placed the money as ordered by the accused and lured him before they made the arrest.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rajesh Deo said that during interrogation, the accused said that he worked as a supervisor in a chocolate shop at Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj where it was a common practice for customers to fill feedback forms.