Kochi, Jun 29 (PTI) Police on Monday arrested a hair stylist and summoned popular Malayalam film comedian Dharmajan Bolgatty as part of the probe into separate cases of a gang allegedly threatening an actress and keeping eight models in captivity trying to extort money.
Kochi City Police Commissioner Vijay Sakhare, who is supervising the probe, said the arrested hair stylist from Chavakkad in Thrissur was an 'important person.' Sakhare expressed hope that more information will be made available after his custodial interrogation.
Police had earlier arrested seven gang members allegedly involved in threatening actress Shamna Kasim and keeping eight women, working as models, in the gang's captivity in Palakkad in March and trying to extort money from them after inviting them for modelling.
Widening the probe to the Malayalam film industry, police on Monday summoned and took the statement of Dharmajan Bolgatty whom some of the arrested gang members had allegedly contacted during the lockdown.
Talking to reporters later, the actor said a gang member had telephoned him seeking contact numbers of actresses Shamna Kasim and Miya.
The actor said the gang secured his phone number from a film production controller.
Meanwhile, police said more people have come out openly against the gang members, accusing them of threatening and trying to extort money from them.
Police launched the investigation last week based on a complaint from actress Shamna Kasim's family that the gang made attempts to extort money from them, after approaching them with a marriage proposal for her.
Following the arrest of four people in connection with the actress' case last Tuesday, three women, working as models, approached the police on Thursday with a complaint that they were kept in the gang's captivity for a week in Palakkad.
One woman has alleged molestation by a gang member while being held in captivity.
After filing the complaint, one of the models had said at least eight women were kept in the location at Palakkad for eight days.
The gang also allegedly persuaded the women to work as carriers for a gold smuggling racket while being kept in their captivity.
Police said no evidence has been secured to directly link the gang with the gold smuggling. PTI TGB BN WELCOME BN WELCOME