Updated January 5th, 2024 at 17:43 IST
Lavish lifestyle, Telugu movie-inspired extortion bid: How fake Lokayukta officer duped officials
The accused, Sreenath Reddy (34), is from Andhra Pradesh, and has been an active criminal since 2007
- 3 min read
Bengaluru: The CCB police have arrested a fake Lokayukta officer for allegedly making phone calls to government officials inspired by Telugu cinema and extorting money by threatening them with 'corruption complaints'.
The arrested individual has been identified as Srinath Reddy (34), a native of Andhra Pradesh. With the arrest of the accused, 17 cases of blackmailing have come to light in Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh.
Srinath Reddy had studied till class 10 in Andhra Pradesh. He was arrested in connection with burglary in 2007 in Attibele, Hebbagodi, Jigani and Kolar city police station limits. He was arrested several times and was released on bail. In 2019, he watched the Telugu film 'Gang', starring Ramya Krishna and Keerthy Surya, and threatened government officials like a Lokayukta officer and extorted money.
Potential targets for Reddy on government websites
A top cop speaking to Republic on the matter said, “He searched the phone numbers of the officials on government websites posing as Lokayukta inspector Chandrashekhar. Then he would add Lokayukta has received a petition against the government official and money has to be paid to conclude the case without trial. If the money is paid, the petition will be investigated by the technical team and a B report will be submitted to the court as promised to the miscreant."
Fearing an investigation, the government officials used to deposit the money in the bank account of the accused. Recently, an aggrieved officer lodged a complaint with the Vidhana Soudha police. The investigation in the case was transferred to the CCB. A team led by Inspector Balaji collected the details of the mobile calls and arrested the accused.
Government officials fear lodging a complaint
Since 2019, Reddy has confessed to calling government officials and employees in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and extorting money from them. So far, he has called more than 60 officials. Most of the officials have refrained from coming forward to lodge complaints. The CCB police said, as a result, they failed to arrest him since 2019.
Srinath Reddy's high-flying lifestyle
Srinath Reddy reportedly never rented a house in the city and always stayed in star hotels, which made it tough for the cops to track him. A cop speaking to Republic on condition of anonymity said, "Reddy used to gamble and had incurred debts, once while watching a movie, he got this idea to extort money from government officials and has done that multiple times. In 2019 he had called a government official in Andhra Pradesh and asked her to send cash to the account of the bank to which he owed money. There was no discretion and he used to do this without any fear but as there were no complaints registered we couldn't take action for all these years."
Published January 5th, 2024 at 17:43 IST
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