MUMBAI: The Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) cyber police station busted an online friendship club, which under the pretext of offering a physical relationship with the opposite sex, duped 2,000 persons hoping to become members over the last two years. Police said there may be more victims as the charge for becoming a member is so meagre that many would prefer to avoid filing a complaint for fear of being humiliated.

People who are involved are arrested and their 16 hard disks, three laptops and 37 mobile phones are seized which were used in the racket. There are some obscene photographs of models and celebrities found in laptops.

The accused would advertise online that top Bollywood artistes, college girls, sports club members, NRI and middle-aged women wants to become friends through their club and attract people to become members for just Rs999. The mode of payment was through Paytm account and after the payment members have to wait for a month. Once the accused recieved the payment “They would then switch off the mobile number and Paytm account, and the victim would never ever approach the police due to fear of being humiliated,” said senior inspector Neeta Phadke.

The five Saquib Malik Courtwala, Girish Jaiswal, Kalpesh Vishwakarma, Arjun Kanojia and Sharik Afzal Khan have been booked under section 420 (cheating) of the IPC and under section 67 of the Information Technology Act. They were produced before the metropolitan magistrate’s court, which remanded them to police custody till April 10.

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