Arrest of pervert on 'girlfriend search' brings suspicious apps on Mumbai police radar

Oct 25, 2018, 18:05 IST | Faizan Khan

Our mid-day correspondent tested it out by downloading the Girl Friend Search For WhatsApp app, and as many as 599 phone numbers poured into his contact list

Arrest of pervert on 'girlfriend search' brings suspicious apps on Mumbai police radar
Anas Asif Ansari

Social media, including mobile phone apps, can be a dangerous place, especially for women. After a recent case of gross invasion of privacy and harassment, which was registered at Kasturba Marg police station, cyber cell of the Mumbai Police has started an inquiry into apps being used for this.

The case in question revolves around the app 'Girl Friend Search For WhatsApp' — once an individual downloads the app, hundreds of unknown phone numbers are automatically added to the person's contact list. Our correspondent tested it out by downloading the app, and as many as 599 phone numbers poured into his contact list.

Accused Anas Asif Ansari and the app he used to harass women
Accused Anas Asif Ansari and the app he used to harass women

The police said this app and other similar ones are mainly being used by perverts to harass women. DCP (crime) Akbar Pathan said, "We are looking into how these apps merge phone numbers of unknown individuals with the downloader's contact list."

The case came to light after the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested a 23-year-old, Anas Asif Ansari, on October 22 for allegedly sending lewd messages and vulgar photos to a woman through this app. The victim had lodged a complaint on October 14 at Kasturba Marg police station.

Other similar apps the police are looking into
Other similar apps the police are looking into

Senior inspector (crime branch) Sunil Jadhav said, "We only had the accused's WhatsApp number when we began the investigation. He was untraceable for several days, as he didn't show up at the address mentioned on his Aadhaar card, which was linked to his WhatsApp number. Finally, we got a lead through his CDR — he was found frequently roaming near Naupada in Bandra. So we laid a trap and arrested him.

"We later came to know that he has targeted 35 to 40 women, most of whom had blocked him." Another source from the local police said, "The victim who lodged a complaint had come to us with her husband, as he had started doubting. But she had never responded to the accused, despite him sending her lewd messages and pictures since July." "We urge other women who were contacted by this man to come forward and report to their local police stations or dial the cyber cell helpline +919820810007," appealed Pathan.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Unkown calls seeking personal info scares pensioners

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