Days after four men were arrested by Gautam Buddh Nagar police for their alleged involvement in installing hidden cameras in a hotel linked to OYO Rooms to blackmail couples, the company is reportedly carrying out an internal investigation into the affair.
Although OYO has not released any official comments, company sources have clarified that the hotels are not associated with the company but are simply listed on its platform. Additionally, they said they were conducting an internal investigation into the incident, which was also requested by the hotel owner who was reportedly upset by the incident.
Police identified the defendants as Vishnu Singh, Abdul Wahav, Pankaj Kumar and Anurag Kumar.
According to the police, the modus operandi of the main defendants, Singh and Wahav, was to book hotel rooms and install cameras to record the couples. They would then obtain their social media profiles and contacts and send them the videos, with the threat of publishing the videos if they did not pay. If that didn’t work, they threatened the couples with violence. Sources said the cameras were placed so cleaning staff wouldn’t notice them.
Ram Badan Singh, DCP (Central Noida), said: “The two defendants had registered several couples. If we receive a complaint in this regard, we will also register the cases concerning them. They had been running the extortion scheme for about a month. Currently, no criminal history of Singh and Wahav has been found; the same is also being probed further.
On how the defendants managed to locate their victims’ contact details, DCP Singh said, “We will not disclose the same as future criminals may also take advantage of these methods.” Police said hotel staff are not currently suspects in the case.
Police said SIM cards and a bank account used in the extortion were provided to Singh and Wahav by two others, Pankaj and Saurabh, for 15,000 rupees. They had provided a similar service to the fourth defendant, Anurag, who had set up three illegal call centers. Saurabh is currently on the run.
ADCP (Central Noida) Saad Miya Khan had said: “We have received reports that a person recently stayed in a room with his friend and a few days later a video of their private moment was sent to him with requests silver. The accused had reserved the same room a few days earlier and had installed the camera there. Whenever a couple was seen on camera, they profiled them and sent their intimate videos to their social media accounts and phones.
A case was filed at Noida Phase 3 Police Station under Sections 420 (Deceit) 386 (Extortion for Fear of Death/Grievous bodily harm) and 506 (Criminal Intimidation) of the CIP. Police also seized 11 laptops, seven processors, 21 cell phones, 22 ATM cards and other electronic accessories from the accused.