Pune: Small-time actress who targeted married men before accusing them of rape, held
Pooja Suresh Jadhav, one of the accused
Pune: Cops have arrested a Pune woman, who used to work as a junior artiste in crime shows, for her involvement in several extortion cases. Pooja Suresh Jadhav, 25, runs the extortion racket with a team of four women and a man, who mostly target married men living in and around Pune. Cops have also arrested the man and another woman from the gang, but the others are absconding.
The modus operandi
According to police sources, the gang, which has been operating since 2014, targeted two to three married men a month, whom the women would meet as clients before pressing molestation or rape charges on the them. The gang threatened to alert the cops if the victims did not pay up.
Cops zeroed in on the gang after Kolewadi resident Niyamat Kadari lodged a complaint with the police. Speaking to mid-day, Kadari said, "I work in the construction industry. On July 3, I got a call from a woman who called herself Vanita. She said she wanted to meet me to discuss a housing project. When I met her on July, she started making advances at me, so I told her I am married. She requested I take her out for tea, so we went to a nearby restaurant. But, her entire gang showed up at the restaurant. They introduced themselves as social workers and accused me of raping her. They demanded R5 lakh from me. When I refused, they assaulted me. They took away all my cash and my wrist watch."
Following the incident, Pooja approached cops at Bhosari police station with her gang and alleged Kadari had raped her after promising to marry her. Inspector (Crime) Ajay Bhosale said, "While probing I realised I had seen this woman before. So I searched police records and found a case from 2014, in which Pooja, claiming to be 'Pranita', had lodged a similar complaint against a software techie. When I grilled her about it, she broke down and confessed to the crimes."
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