3 Madhya Pradesh cops among 5 arrested in UP's Noida for alleged extortion

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Noida, Dec 20 (PTI) Five people, including two sub-inspectors and a constable of the Madhya Pradesh Police, have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Noida for alleged criminal conspiracy and extortion, officials said on Sunday.

The policemen arrested belong to the Cyber Cell of Jabalpur zone in Madhya Pradesh and have been charged with extortion and criminal conspiracy, while the other two are brothers facing a ponzi case, the officials said.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Love Kumar said a four-member police team from Jabalpur had come to Noida on December 15 to probe the ponzi case lodged there, but three of them were themselves found involved in extortion and conspiracy.

'Suryabhan Yadav was accused in the ponzi case in which a person identified as Chandrakant Dubey was a complainant. The MP police team had come to investigate that matter but intended to make money from Yadav and offered to release him,' Kumar told reporters.

'The police officials had picked up Yadav from his office in Sector 62 here the next day (December 16) and taken Rs 4.70 lakh from him. They had also offered to get one of Yadav's bank accounts in Sector 18 de-frozen in exchange for some money. This account had Rs 58 lakh and was frozen by the MP police,' he said.

Those held have been identified as Rashid Parvez Khan and Pankaj Sahu, both sub-inspectors in the Cyber Cell, Jabalpur Zone of MP Police, constable Asif Khan, and Suryabhan Yadav and Shashikant Yadav, both natives of Azamgarh district in UP and accused in the ponzi case, Kumar said.

A laptop used in the crime and eight mobile phones belonging to different companies were seized from the accused, the police said.

An FIR has been lodged at Noida's Sector 20 police station under Indian Penal Code sections 395 (dacoity), 384 (extortion), 120B (criminal conspiracy), the police added.

According to officials, they blew the lid off the entire conspiracy when the two sub-inspectors, who visited the private bank on December 18 to get the account de-frozen but later got engaged in an argument with a group of men, snatched the pistol of one of the policemen and fled in a car.

The cyber cell officials were in plain clothes when the incident took place and the matter reached the local Sector 20 police which launched an investigation after lodging an FIR.

The local police also questioned their counterparts from Madhya Pradesh why they had not informed the Noida Police about their work, they said.

'As the investigation progressed, it came to light that the visiting sub-inspectors had fixed a deal with Dubey, the complainant in the ponzi case, and offered him some money. Yadav had duped Dubey to the tune of approximately Rs 3 lakh,' a Noida police official said.

'The sub-inspectors had made Yadav transfer Rs 24 lakh in bitcoins and ether (virtual currencies) to Dubey, who had then transferred the amount to constable Asif Khan,' the official said.

However, Yadav had told about the episode to a friend, identified as Manoj Tiwari, who assured him of 'handling the matter'.

Tiwari along with four-five of his aides had then engaged in an argument with the visiting policemen in sector 18 on December 18 and fled with the pistol, the official added.

Tiwari and others are still at large and searches are underway to arrest them, the police said. PTI KIS RHL