Kalavoor (Alappuzha): Five persons were arrested by the Mannancherry police from Muloorkara in Thrissur district on charges of attempting to fleece Rs 10 lakh from a resort owner in Mararikulam after snaring him in a honey trap.
The arrested are Muhammed Shafin, 23, of Ayoor Arangathu Parambu of Muloorkara; Asharaf, 23, of Kalladikunathu in Cheruthuruthy; Sanoosh, 22, of Kallekunnu Cheruthuruthy; S Sanu, 27, of Chottupara Valiyaparambil, and B Sajeer, 30, of Cheruthuruthy Palayamkottakaran.
They forcibly tried to implicate 43-year-old man in a lurid scandal in a bid to blackmail him.
The victim has been running a resort at Varan Kavala in Mararikulam North Panchayat in Alappuzha district. Of late owing to the shutdowns and travel curbs over COVID-19 he was facing financial hardship and tried to raise funds and approached many people for help. In the meantime, he got acquainted with a woman at Muloorkara and was invited to her place later. He went to Muloorkara in his friend's car, hoping that he would get financial help from her.
While he was talking to the woman at a lodge at Muloorkara, the five youths pounced on him and started beating him up and taking photographs. They then started demanding Rs 10 lakh from him and even confined him.
Later, the relatives of the resort owner filed a missing complaint. In the course of the investigation, the police got a clue that he was calling up many friends and asking for Rs 10 lakh urgently.
The police called up the resort owner in the guise of a friend. The police then realised that that he was in danger. Tracing the tower location of his mobile phone, the Mannancherry police team led by Sub Inspector K R Biju zeroed in on a deserted house at Cheruthuruthy and rescued the resort owner.
The five accused were arrested on the spot.
The resort owner was brought to Kaloor on Friday. The five accused, who were arrested, will be brought to Kaloor on Saturday and will be produced before the court.
According to police, there are five more accused, including women, in the case. The police are on the lookout for them.
The accused had planned a honey trap thinking that the resort owner was a millionaire. The police's assessment is that the accused had in the past successfully conducted similar honey traps and fleeced money from many businessmen and influential people.
Mannancherry Police Station is in Alappuzha district. Mararikulam is a coastal village in the same district.