Thiruvananthapuram, July 25 :
A key accused wanted for blackmailing businessmen and VIPs with the help of women has been arrested here, police said Friday.
V. Jayachandran was arrested late Thursday outside the MLAs’ hostel where he was staying in a room booked in the name of former Congress legislator T. Sarathchandra Prasad.
Prasad said he had nothing to do with the accused.
Jayachandran, hailing from Chertalai in Alappuzha district, was on the run after his accomplices — two women, an advocate and two other men — were arrested early this month, said police.
The gang used to befriend big businessmen and VIPs and lure them into hotel rooms where the women would get the victims into compromising positions.
The gang made videos of the victims and blackmailed them to extort money.
The gang got exposed when one of the victims, from whom they had demanded Rs.3 crore, complained to police. While everyone else was arrested, Jayachandran escaped.
Tracking his mobile phone, the police found his location to be the legislators’ hostel. They sought Speaker G. Karthikeyan’s nod to proceed.
When police personnel reached the hostel Thursday night, Jayachandran tried to escape in his car but was caught.
The speaker said it was unfortunate the legislators’ hostel had sheltered a criminal and promised action.
Prasad, a Congress office bearer in whose name the room was booked, said he had taken the room but given it to another person, a politician, and not to Jayachandran.
Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan demanded a probe into the episode.