Mumbai: Extortion accused coached himself through YouTube videos

The right-hand man of terror accused Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Sheikh runs all of Kaskar's operations and is wanted in a string of cases in India.

Gautam S. MengleUpdated: Friday, July 22, 2022, 08:37 AM IST
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Mumbai: Sadiq ul Haq, the 25-year-old man arrested on Wednesday for allegedly trying to extort his former employer, has allegedly told his interrogators that he watched dozens of YouTube videos to prepare for the crime.

His internet search history will now be a part of the evidence against him. Haq, who used to work in a bakery in Mumbai, was arrested by the Anti Extortion Cell of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch after he allegedly made extortion calls to the bakery owner, claiming to be a henchman of wanted fugitive Shakeel Babumiyan Sheikh alias Chhota Shakeel.

The right-hand man of terror accused Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Sheikh runs all of Kaskar's operations and is wanted in a string of cases in India. Haq, in his interrogation, has told the AEC officers that after he hit upon the idea of extorting, he went online and searched for keywords like 'extortion', 'underworld' and other related words.

YouTube has a huge collection of videos of news reports where actual extortion calls made by underworld figures are played on air. Additionally, videos featuring audio recordings of such calls are also uploaded by civilian users, which have a significant viewership on YouTube.

"Haq viewed scores of videos and listened to the recordings over and over, till he ascertained that Shakeel's name was the most used one in these calls. He also paid particular attention to the way the callers spoke while making the calls and prepared himself accordingly," said an AEC officer.

Finally, after much preparation and practice, Haq called up his target on July 9."This is Shakeel bhai's man BIllo speaking. I was Rs 35 lakh till Tuesday. I am from the D Company. Have you heard of Chhota Shakeel? I will kill you if I don't get Rs 35 lakh by Tuesday. We run the entire city," Billo said in his call. The repeated emphasis on Shakeel's name and the mention of D Company, as Dawood's gang is known, was a deliberate and planned move on his part, investigators said.

"We will be checking his internet search history and attaching relevant information from his cell phone as evidence," the officer said. Billo has also further said in his interrogation that he had recently had a 'nikaah' with his love interest, but his wife's family was unwilling to let her stay with him, as he didn't have a house of his own, which is why he decided to commit the crime, officers said.

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