Mother-son duo held for extortion; caught taking ₹10L

  • | Monday | 20th November, 2023

Nashik: A woman and her son were arrested by the city police on charge of extortion on Saturday. They were caught taking Rs 10 lakh in an area falling under the jurisdiction of the Gangapur police station.The accused have been identified as 42-year-old Sarika Sonawane, and her son Mohit. We laid a trap at Jehan Circle and arrested them after they accepted the money, deputy commissioner of police Kirankumar Chavan said.While addressing the reporters on Sunday, Chavan said, Sarika, who works with the agriculture department, had been demanding money from the complainant, Limba Shirsath, by threatening to make a video of his viral.Shirsath is the executive member of a board of trustees of an ashram in Dindori.He added, The two (Sarika and Shirsath) came in contact in 2014. The woman was later made in-charge of around 40 units of the ashram — most of which were in and around Deola taluka.In 2018-19 the accused lost her husband, following which she demanded Rs 25 lakh from the complainant and he obliged.At the same time, the accused floated Sankalp Siddhi — an institution that claimed to double the investment in a short time and attracted huge investments from the followers of the ashram. She, however, failed to return the money.When the followers started demanding money, the complainant gave her Rs 20 lakh so that she could bail herself out of the problem.In January 2022 the woman called the victim to Gangapur Road and told him that her son had morphed videos of the victim, which she would make viral if he did not give her more money.The victim got scared and gave some money, but then the woman started pestering him for more. In January 2023, the accused met the complainant at Prashant Nagar and showed him the video. She then demanded Rs 20 crore from him and even threatened to file a rape case against him if he failed.The victim somehow managed to pay Rs 50 lakh to her in November. The woman, at that moment, had claimed that the video was deleted, but a few days later, she again placed a demand for Rs 10.5 crore.This time the victim got in touch with the police and registered a complaint. We have seized their mobile phone and laptop. We are analyzing the videos to understand the nature of the crime and will accordingly take action, a police officer said.A total of Rs 10.5 crore was given to the woman by the complainant. As of now the woman and her son have been booked under sections 384 (extortion), 388, 389 of the IPC along with sections of the IT Act. They were presented before a court and have been remanded in police custody till November 24, the police officer added.

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