2 men from prominent Kolkata business families arrested for ‘filming 182 women, extortion’

2 men from prominent Kolkata business families arrested for ‘filming 182 women, extortion’

Police arrested Aditya Agarwal and Anish Lohruka for running a murderous racket for 25 years, so that they repeatedly harassed, blackmailed and extorted women.

 2 men from prominent Kolkata business families arrested for ‘filming 182 women, extortion’
 2 men from prominent Kolkata business families arrested for ‘filming 182 women, extortion’

In Kolkata, two families of two prominent businessmen were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly running a racket in the city, where 12 women were trapped and filmed in the last six years.

In the early twenties, both Aditya Agarwal and Anish Loharka started this slicer business as a child and were repeatedly harassed, blackmailed and rescued by an accomplice.

According to a Kolkata senior official in charge of the investigation, Agarwal and Loharka also formed a pool of friends to exchange the video. Kailash Yadav, a co-worker of the Lohruka family, has also been arrested for allegedly blackmailing women and assisting them in making video clips.

In addition to cyber crime, the police have imposed at least six sections of Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act against the accused, including extortion, robbery, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation.

Agarwal and Loharaka were remanded in police custody till February 6. Their family, meanwhile, has hired about 22 lawyers to fight the case.

The Agarwal family owns a popular ethnic wear brand that operates nationally, while the Loharka family operates a hotel chain in Kolkata.

It started in college
According to police sources, Agarwal and Loharaka began filming intimate moments with their female friends at school and in college at around 17 in the 20 years. However, the first allegations against them were found only in November 2019.

Sources said police recovered at least 12 folders, each containing more than a hundred clips, identifying the victims' names, ages, addresses and other details.

“Folders almost looked like companies kept them for employees, with almost all the details, including their background and performance. There are multiple video clips in each folder, "said a senior official.

The modus operandi was unique too, sources said - Agarwal and Lohruka would first be "sensitive" to the victims, after being filmed by a third person they would become "physically intimate", who was a cook.

While some of the victims agreed to the clips for 'fun', most of them were unaware that they were filming. The pair then exchanged videos of friends in a simple 'live porn pool'.

Police sources said the videos were later used to blackmail repeatedly for "intimate moments" in hotel rooms, resorts and city rentals and other out-of-town rentals.

Five victims have filed charges
In November 2002, a victim, who is now married, filed an FIRT after being blackmailed by an "unknown caller" with some clips. The caller demanded a million taka and threatened to upload the videos online.

The victim refused to pay the money and instead made an FIR. Since then, at least four more women have come forward to complain against the couple - after contacting the husband or the police.

The first complainant could only supply the number of "unknown callers", primarily because the police were only hitting the dead end. Police identified the number and took it to several mobile phones stolen in three other states of Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand. But no results were encouraged, sources said.

After a long, exhausting process, the police zeroed in on a number who had taken Yadav, a resident of Deoghar in Bihar.

The first complainant stopped receiving extortion calls after filing an FIR, but they resumed a few days later. This time, sources said, the police tracked the tower location of the number, which led them to Yadav. Meanwhile, Lohruka got a laptop hard drive after receiving FIR news and allegedly kept Yadav in his village.

During Yadav's interrogation, he mentioned the hard drive and the police recovered it.

Thereafter, four groups of five officers were formed in the shadow of Agarwal and Loharuka. Sources say that the parties have been closely monitoring the two, with the approval of Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma, as they hoped that the families would try to influence the investigation. But there was no indication of the investigation of these families for three months.

Finally, Agarwal and Loharaka were arrested on Wednesday and immediately appeared in court. Their family members were summoned shortly after reaching the court.

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