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'Casting Director' Who Morphed Women Pics with Mobile App Held

Mumbai man threatened at least eight women by morphing their pictures with mobile phone application 'Pics Art' to show them naked.


Updated:April 23, 2019, 7:47 PM IST
'Casting Director' Who Morphed Women Pics with Mobile App Held
Image for representation. (Reuters Photo)

Mumbai: A 28-year-old man, who allegedly posed as a 'casting director' and created morphed images of women struggling for a break into movies and serials through a mobile application, has been arrested for blackmail and extortion, police said Tuesday.

The accused Siddharth Sarode, a resident of Sion Chunabhatti, was picked up by unit-9 of crime branch, Bandra. Explaining his modus operandi, a crime branch official said the accused would pose as a casting director for movies and get connected with women strugglers on Facebook and Whatsapp.

"Sarode would demand photographs of the women who contacted him for roles. After receiving the photos, he would morph them with mobile phone application 'Pics Art' to show them naked," he said.

Sarode would then revert these morphed images to the unsuspecting senders and demand money by threatening them to make the pictures public. According to the official, Sarode has threatened at least eight women using this modus operandi and sought varying amounts, ranging from thousands to lakhs, from them.

A case was registered against him after a woman victim approached Mumbai police. "Initially, police didn't know the name of the accused and his location, but eventually tracked him down through his mobile phone number after 12 days," said Asha Korkhe, police inspector, Unit 9.

Police also sourced a footage from a CCTV camera which had captured Sarode accepting money from a woman. "We laid a trap in Bandra and contacted him by pretending to be a struggler who is looking for a break," he said.

Initially, Sarode told the decoy that he was busy in a meeting with a leading Bollywood actor for "Dabangg-3", another officer said. Sarode finally came to Bandra after the decoy told him that she was ready to pay Rs 50,000 to get a role in the film.

He was caught by a police team led by senior police inspector Mahesh Desai. Sarode will be handed over to Versova police for further investigation. According to a police officer, Sarode has also cheated women from Thane and Pune besides those who are residents of Mumbai.

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