Wayanad: Strong suspicion has emerged regarding the involvement of the online loan mafia in the death of Chirakonath Ajayaraj (44).
According to his kin, Ajayaraj was under tremendous pressure and had been receiving threats from a 'cyber loan agent'. His relatives too received threats and morphed naked pictures of family members.
Ajayaraj, a native of Arimula here, died by suicide on Thursday.
“For the past few days, Ajay was perturbed as he had taken loans from various sources, including some ‘strangers’ he had met online. Even our relatives started receiving threats and morphed porn from an unidentified mobile number referring to his debt,” said Ajayaraj’s brother Jayaraj.
After his death, a relative sent a message to the agent informing them of his demise. However, the response was a prolonged laughter with a message “Good Joke”.
Police are yet to investigate the role of the ‘loan app mafia’ in the case.
Inspector Biju Antony of Meenangadi police station, who is the investigating officer in the case, told Onmanorama that police have the mobile phone of the victim in their custody and are yet to crack into it as the gadget is password-protected.
“We have sought the help of cyber experts to examine the phone,” he said, adding that police would record the detailed statements of Ajayaraj's kin only after his last rites are performed on Saturday. Their mobile phones would also be examined.
District Police Chief Padam Singh told Onmanorama that the WhatsApp chats and messages of the victim would be considered evidence for abetting suicide.
“The victim had received threatening messages till he took the extreme step, saying that the morphed photos would be circulated if he failed to repay the money," said the officer.
He also said the photos were sent from a different number.
Police have launched an investigation into the financial transactions of the victim, the morphed porn photographs that were sent to his relatives and the threats.
“Relevant sections of the IT Act would be slapped against the culprits," said the officer.
A lottery trader at Meenangadi, Ajayaraj was reported missing since Friday morning. When he failed to answer repeated phone calls, a search was launched by his friends.
Later, that evening, his scooter was found abandoned near an estate at Arimula and his body was found hanging from a tree.