A 33-year-old software engineer has been arrested by Cyberabad police in Chennai for allegedly duping over 600 women across the country into sending their nude photos.
Clement Raj Chezhiyan alias Pradeep, who works at a well-known Chennai-based IT firm, ran a fake HR office from his home and lured women with front-office jobs at five-star hotels.
Here are more details.
Techie targeted 'attractive women' looking for front-office jobs
According to The Times of India, Chezhiyan pretended to be the HR manager of a prominent hotel, seeking "attractive women" for front-office jobs.
He said that he would call women for interviews and later ask them to share nudes on WhatsApp saying that the company was very particular about a candidate's figure.
He would also make women strip on video-call and secretly record it.
Over 600 women in 16 states were targeted
Chezhiyan has collected photos and videos by duping over 600 women from 16 states. According to The News Minute, he targeted a small number of women from Tamil Nadu out of fear of getting caught. He mainly targeted women from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc.
Accused started duping women for 'fun' since he was lonely
Notably, a senior cop investigating the case told TOI, "The accused was usually on the night shift, and he claimed that since he used to feel lonely and get frustrated throughout the day with his wife working, he began collecting mobile phone numbers of women through a popular e-classified portal just for fun."
The officer added, "But soon, it gave way to blackmailing."
Incident came to light after woman filed complaint in April
Chezhiyan's actions came to light after a Hyderabad-based woman filed a complaint in April and the Cyberabad Commissionerate started a probe.
However, TNM reported, that the Cyberabad police took action only after 60 cases emerged from Hyderabad.
Assistant commissioner of police (Miyapur division) Ravi Kumar said that they are sending Chezhiyan's electronic devices, where he stored the photos/videos in password-protected folders, for forensic analysis.
Chezhiyan booked under IPC Sections 420, 406; IT Act
According to Hindustan Times, Chezhiyan has been booked under IPC Sections 420 and 406 and various sections of the Information Technology Act.
Reportedly, he was produced before Kukatpally court on Friday and remanded in judicial custody.
Miyapur inspector S Venkatesh told the publication, "We filed a petition in the court asking for five days' police custody of the accused for further interrogation."