Actor blackmail case: Two more gang members held

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KOCHI: Two more persons landed in police net on Friday in the case in which a gang attempted to blackmail a Mollywood actor after approaching her with a marriage proposal. Abdul Salam and Aboobacker, both natives of Vadanappally, Thrissur, are the arrested.They were among the group which went to the residence of actor Shamna Kasim with the marriage proposal. Salam, with the intention to surrender, reached the District Sessions Court on Friday.

However, as he was not arraigned in the case, he could not complete the surrender procedure. Later, a police team arrived and took him into custody. He was later arraigned and his arrest recorded. Aboobacker was arrested following Salam’s confession.“Both were part of the conspiracy. We have arrested six persons now and two main accused persons remain at large. Apart from the actor, we had received complaints against the gang from three more women. On Friday, four more women approached us. Based on the complaint, we will register cases,” said an official.

Salam told reporters that he had visited Shamna’s house. He denied involvement in gold smuggling activities.“We went there with a marriage proposal. But after seeing us, the actor’s parents refused to go forward with the alliance. Maybe it was due to family status issue. We didn’t demand any money,” he said.

Kochi City Police Commissioner IG Vijay Sakhare said the claim made by the gang to other cheated women that they had links with gold smugglers was bogus. Due to Covid restrictions, the investigation against the gang could not be launched when the first complaint was received.

“We have registered a human trafficking case based on complaints received by other women. More complaints are expected,” he said.Sakhare has also launched an internal probe as one of the victims stated that no action was taken against the gang after filing a complaint with Ernakulam North Police a few months back.The statement of Shamna Kasim could not be recorded as she is out of station for film shooting. The other women who were cheated by the gang said a woman identified as Meera invited them for a film audition in Palakkad early this year. However, the women were locked inside a house and the accused persons snatched money and ornaments from them.

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