Cuttack: A 32-year-old man was arrested for allegedly uploading obscene photos and videos of a girl on social media to extort her, police said today.
The Cyber Cell of Odisha Crime Branch on Monday arrested Ratan Behera on charges of trying to extort money and demanding sexual favours from the victim by threatening to circulate the obscene pictures and videos of her on various social media platforms, the police said.
Behera, a native of Khalina under Jaleswar police limits of Balasore district, had befriended the victim on Facebook. The duo started chatting and later the accused managed to get nude photos and videos of the girl on the pretext of marrying her, police said, adding “Behera is a habitual online predator.”
The accused started demanding sexual favours and money from the victim. When she refused to entertain his demands, Behera shared the sexually explicit images in different WhatsApp groups created by him, police said.
During the course of investigation, the cops got to know that Behera, who had created a social media account in the name of Sandeep Mohapatra, used to send friend requests to unknown people, particularly girls, randomly posing himself as an attractive man. Once a girl accepts his request, the accused tries to induce and seduce her to send him their nude photos and videos, a police official said.
“We have arrested a cyber criminal today for blackmailing and trying to extort money from a girl by threatening to upload her private and obscene photos on social media,” said Crime Branch SP Sandip Matkar.
The victim had lodged a complaint with Cyber Crime Police Station here on January 16. Following this, an FIR was registered against Behera under section 292/354D/465/469/385 of IPC and section 67/67A of IT Act 2000.
The police had seized various incriminating articles such as two mobile phones, five SIM cards, one fake voter ID card from the possession of the accused. He was produced in the sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) of Cuttack Sadar later in the day.
Meanwhile, the Cyber Cell of the Crime Branch appealed the young and adolescent children to be careful while using social media websites and mobile application to escape from the online predators.