Hunt on for robbers who used app to identify targets

A special team of the Kerala police is in the city to investigate a new method of robbery by a group of persons, who lure victims through a mobile application on the pretext of arranging a meeting with a potential gay partner.

The team headed by Sub-Inspector of Police G. Ajaykumar, Maraiyur police station, Idukki district, is camping in the city to trace the accused, who are reportedly operating from Chennai. Tracing signals from their mobile phone, the police team zeroed in on Jai Nagar, Arumbakkam, where the criminals are believed to be hiding.

Mr. Ajaykumar said,Initially, it appeared to us like any other theft case but after some investigation, we came upon the mobile app angle. In the last week of October, a priest lodged a complaint with the Maraiyur police alleging that two unknown persons who visited him, had made away with ₹1.5 lakh, a digital camera, laptop and other valuables that came to a total of ₹3.12 lakh. The priest told the police that he had met the duo — Hemanth and Sudhan — in Bengaluru during a chapel service at a medical college.

However, police investigation revealed that the priest had actually met them through a mobile application and he had invited them to his place.

After sedating the priest, they made away with the valuables. “We managed to get the call detail records of the mobile phone of the accused, and it showed them to be in Chennai,” the police officer said.

Similar instances

“We found they had adopted a similar modus operandi in various other parts of the State, such as Tirupur, Salem and Coimbatore. They would go to the house of the person, who invited them through the app. There, they would pretend to be tired after a long journey, ask for food and insist on sharing it with the host. On the sly, they would mix sedatives in the food and give it to the victim. Once the host falls unconscious, the suspects would rob the house and flee,” said the officer.

The police team quizzed the management of a leading hospital since the accused are suspected to have knowledge of medical, and para-medical procedures.

They also investigated persons, who run mobile phone recharging centres in Arumbakkam and Anna Nagar.

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