Mangaluru, Jan 21: A couple living in a rented house at Padavinangadi in Mangaluru had called a priest cum astrologer from Chikkamagaluru for conducting a puja at home and extorted Rs 49 lakh from him. Unable to meet further demands of the duo, the victim filed a complaint to the police, said City Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar.
The police have seized two golden rings worth Rs 37,000, Rs 31,000 cash and four mobile phones from the arrested. They were produced before the jurisdictional court, which remanded them in five days of police custody for further investigation, said the Commissioner.
The arrested are Bhavya M N (30), a native of Shanivarasanthe hobli and Kumar alias Raju (35), a native of Arakalagoodu in Hassan.
Explaining the incident, the Commissioner said that the arrested had asked the complainant priest from Chikkamagaluru district to conduct puja in the house. Later, Bhavya had clicked photos of an astrologer in a compromising position with her and started threatening him of posting the photos on social media.
Suspecting a few others were also trapped by the couple, the Commissioner said that the victim was receiving calls from different identities from different phone numbers including in the name of police sub inspector, women organisations, political leaders.
Of Rs 49 lakh extorted, Rs 15 lakh was collected in cash and the remaining was transferred to various bank accounts. The victim had raised money from friends and relatives to pay the duo.
Of the money collected, the duo had used for purchasing a vehicle, for availing a house on lease, for purchasing household products and travelling to different places, said the Commissioner. The duo had been engaged in extortion since August last year.
Following a complaint, a case was registered at Mangaluru Rural Police Station. Taking up the investigation, CCB police inspector Mahesh Prasad and team were successful in arresting them.
The City Police Commissioner urged the victims to come forward to file complaints in any police station coming under Mangaluru police Commissionerate jurisdiction or Office of the police commissioner or with the DCP.