Kottayam: A 25-year-old man has been arrested in Kerala for allegedly sexually exploiting over 50 women he had befriended on social media by blackmailing them, police said Saturday.
The cops were in for a shock when they found several photos of victims on the laptop of Pradeesh Kumar of Areeparambu near Ettumanoor in the Kottyam, who was arrested Friday.
The police found photos of 58 women stored in 58 folders in the laptop, district police chief Harishankar said.
The arrest was based on a complaint filed against him for abusing a housewife.
The police had been on the hunt for the youth for three days. He was tracked down using his mobile tower location on Friday night. Pradeesh has been remanded by the Ettumanoor court. A special squad led by DySP R Sreekumar arrested him.
He has been charged for sexually exploiting over 50 women he had befriended on social media.
Explaining his 'modus operandi,' police said Kumar used to target women on social media and got their phone numbers.
After establishing contact with the women, mostly housewives, and understanding their family problems, he used to create fake Facebook accounts posing as a female and got in touch with the husbands of his potential targets, police said.
The accused used to take screenshots of the chats their husbands had with the fake accounts and forwarded it to their wives.
This was intended to convince his targets about the "illicit relationships" of their husbands.
After ensuring that the women started distancing themselves from their husbands, the accused developed a rapport with them.
He then invited them for video chats.
The women were then blackmailed with their morphed pictures and sexually exploited, police said.
Pradeep threatened to send their morphed photographs to their husbands if the women refused to comply with his orders, police said.
Pradeesh also sought to distance the women from their husbands. He directed them to attend his chats and video calls no matter how late it is.
According to the cops, he even told one of his victim that he plans to exploit 100 women by 2021.