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Fake journalists arrested for extortion in Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi police arrests gang of ‘fake journalists’
Varanasi, April 14 (IANS) The Lanka police in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi has arrested nine people of a gang of ‘fake journalists’ who were involved in extorting money from vehicles by posing as journalists. The gang members were caught with a car, camera, and other equipment.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Kashi zone, Pramod Kumar, revealed that the arrested individuals confessed to stopping vehicles on the highway at night and threatening drivers with sting operations. They posed as chief editors, reporters, and cameramen to intimidate their targets and extort money from them.

The arrested gang members include Mridul Kumar Tiwari, Lal Babu Sonkar, Akash Kumar Gautam, Gaurav Kumar Bharti, Prakash Verma, Sawan Kumar, Anil Kashyap, Dilip Kumar, and Jitendra Sonkar. Each member had a specific role in carrying out the extortion activities, with Tiwari leading the group as the chief editor.

The police recovered various items used by the gang, including a reporting mic, stand, hand-talks, mobile selfie stick, 360-degree camera, data cable, mobile phones, SIM cards, and an Innova car. They were receiving complaints daily about such incidents and formed a team to investigate further leading to the arrest of the gang members under Maldahiya bridge.

The gang’s modus operandi involved threatening drivers with sting operations while pretending to be journalists. The police have taken strict action against such criminal activities and have cautioned people to be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior to prevent similar incidents in the future.


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