CBI-like email id used to con businesswoman; three arrested

Updated: Oct 26, 2019, 13:16 IST | PTI | New Delhi

The CBI has booked them for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and violation of the Information Technology Act

This picture has been used for representational purposes only
This picture has been used for representational purposes only

New Delhi: The CBI has arrested three members of a gang, which allegedly extorted money from a businesswoman in Mumbai posing as its officers and even created an email id having the agency's domain name, officials said on Friday. A search was under way to nab the kingpin of the gang, Viresh Pathak, who had posed as the SSP of Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI, Delhi, the officials said.

Abhishek Singh alias Abhishek Jha and Shivanshu Sharma who were going to collect the extortion money from Mumbai were arrested on Thursday and Mohammed Irshad Ansari who created an email id like that of the CBI was arrested from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, they said. Spoofing in Information Technology refers to disguising an unknown communication as a genuine one. The matter came to light when a woman approached the CBI with a complaint that some of its officials had been threatening her and demanding money. She said they were making adverse report in some enquiry being conducted by the agency in which another law enforcement agency had already finalised its report.

They were calling her and sending WhatsApp messages demanding Rs 10 lakh, the woman alleged. She said Pathak had asked her to send business documents and personal details on an email id similar to that of the CBI, the officials said. During investigation, the CBI found that the phone numbers from which the woman had received calls were registered on fake names and addresses. The gang had initially demanded Rs 10 lakh from the woman, but later agreed on Rs five lakh, the officials said. Singh and Sharma, both residents of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, were arrested on Thursday night when they had reached Mumbai to collect the amount from the woman, the officials said.

The two men were posing as sub-ordinates of Pathak deputed to collect the amount, they said. Their accomplice Ansari was arrested from Allahabad on Friday for creating a spoofed email id. "It was also found out that the arrested accused from Mirzapur were receiving directions from a person based in Bangalore who used to participate in conversations on conference call," a CBI spokesperson said on Friday. The CBI has booked them for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and violation of the Information Technology Act, he added.

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