Kochi: The ongoing probe into the alleged blackmailing of model-turned-actress Shamna Kasim has started to unfold more offences carried out by the racket as well as its modus operandi. As the police are all set to question more people from the film industry, one more person has been nabbed after the attempt to extort money from Shamna came to light recently. Eight people have been arrested so far and the police have registered nine FIRs.
The latest to be arrested is a hairstylist, Harris of Chavakkad in Thrissur even as actor Dharmajan Bolgatty was questioned on Monday.
Harris is a relative of Rafeeque, who was earlier arrested in the case, according to the police. Harris owns a hair salon in the Gulf.
The culprits allegedly conned people by making use of Harris' ties in the cine world.
Harris had procured Shamna's phone number from a producer, as per the preliminary information received by the police. He then allegedly handed over the actress' phone number and address of her house to the culprits.
Harris could throw more light on the number of people that have fallen prey to the racket.
Dharmajan Bolgatty summoned
Actor Dharmajan admitted that the conmen had contacted him in their bid to secure the phone numbers of Shamna as well as Miya, another actress.
Production controller Shaji Pattakara had handed over my number to the accused, Dharmajan said.
The actor made the disclosure to media soon after he came out of the the Police Commissioner's office after making his submission.
Meanwhile, the police will question people in the movie industry in connection with the case.
Dharmajan was reportedly among the three people summoned to the Commissioner's office on Monday. Dharmajan's phone number was allegedly found from the culprits and he was questioned on this.
More complaints filed
As the probe intensifies, five more people filed complaints against the gang on Monday.
IG Vijay Sakhare has said that more complaints have been raised against the accused. He had earlier said that some of the complainants had been sexually abused.
Earlier, it was revealed that a woman from Idukki had helped the racket by luring women with promises of modelling avenues.
The police have been on the lookout for her. The cops believe that the real extent of the crime and the number of people involved in the racket will be revealed once she is caught.
Women, who worked in the modelling and in the event management sectors, were targeted by the racket. It is also alleged the gang kept some of their victims in captivity at hotels in Vadakkencherry and Walayar.
As reported earlier, the gang allegedly threatened actress Shamna Kasim and her family, and attempted to extort money after approaching them with a marriage proposal for her.