A 24-year-old man from Rajasthan was arrested for allegedly extorting money from a person after posing as a police officer and using the image of Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Astana as a profile picture on social media, officials said Saturday. They said the accused was Hakimuddin, a resident of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan. They said that the police received a complaint alleging that the complainant received a friend request for a woman on Facebook, and later requested his WhatsApp number.

Police said that after a while, he received a video call on WhatsApp with pornographic content, after which, he received a distorted and objectionable video of himself. Then the accused called him pretending to be a police officer, using a picture of Asthana downloaded from the internet. Police said the accused had asked him to pay money to prevent the video from being uploaded to the internet and the complainant complied and paid Rs 1,96,000.

During the investigation, it was found that the mobile numbers used to contact the complainant were from Assam and were used in Bharatpur. They added that the bank accounts in which the extorted money was deposited were identified.

Deputy Police Commissioner (Cyber) KPS Malhotra said that after learning about the money trail and technical analysis of social media accounts and phone number websites, Al-Din was identified and arrested on Friday. Police said three of his comrades have been identified from his village and are now fleeing. They said Hakamuddin is also involved in another similar case.

Police said the gangs operating from Bharatpur have a modus operandi that they will send friend requests using a woman’s profile to random people. Once the person accepts the request, they will start chatting with the person on WhatsApp. After some time, they would lure the person into phone sex or sexual acts over a video call. They added that the gang members then recorded these actions and used the videos to extort money from their victims.

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