Bhopal: Investigators say they have stumbled upon the name of a former Union minister’s son who is among dozens of high-profile people including politicians and bureaucrats allegedly ensnared by a widespread extortion racket in Madhya Pradesh. Over 1,000 clips of sex chats, explicit videos and audios have been found from mobile phones and computers of the gang members arrested for perpetrating this intricate honey-trap scand
About a dozen IAS officers, eight former ministers of Madhya Pradesh, several actors and journalists are among those being investigated for possible involvement in the syndicate.
Sources say the former Union minister paid a large sum of money to the gang in a bid to get his son out of trouble. It’s not clear to which party the politician belongs. The matter came to light after the special investigation team (SIT) probing the case found a video featuring his son among the nearly thousand multimedia files recovered from the electronic devices belonging to the ring.
The gang has also purportedly trapped several leading businessmen from Bhopal as authorities have spotted cellphone numbers of at least 10 traders of the city’s New Market in the call records of the arrested gang members
One of those caught, a woman identified as Shweta Jain who runs an NGO and rents the house of a BJP MLA, Brijendra Pratap Singh, is the alleged queen-pin of the operation. According to sources, some journalists were apparently fixing deals with bureaucrats and Jain, acting as intermediaries.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath is believed to be personally monitoring the progress in the high-profile inquiry. SIT head Sanjeev Shami reached the CM House on Thursday night to brief him about the development. Nath is also reportedly receiving feedback from his ministers.
Jain has allegedly told investigators that about two dozen college students, mostly from not-so-privileged families, were used to trap top officials and politicians with the aim to bag lucrative government contracts running into several hundred crores. Authorities have so far arrested half a dozen people, including five women.
The gang meticulously picked places to snare its victims and had access to several prominent locations. The videos recovered from the cellphones of the accused were shot at clubhouses, hotels, residences, farmhouses, guesthouses, and even inside moving trains.
The arrested women have also recorded videos clandestinely in places situated in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, etc. The SIT is now awaiting the forensic test report of the clips to decide the future course of the probe.
An 18-year-old student arrested by police is said to be one of the college-goers exploited by the ring. Investigators say Jain reeled in many women and young girls with promises of jobs and by brandishing a luxurious lifestyle with Audi cars and five-star hotel rooms. They were then used as bait to trap politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.