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In Paytm Founder's Extortion Plot, Another Ransom Call, Death Threats and a Shareholding Standoff Surface

The cops continue to maintain that Sonia Dhawan masterminded the operation which involved three others, including her husband, to extort over Rs 20 crore from the Paytm founder.

Subhajit Sengupta | News18.comSubhajitSG

Updated:October 24, 2018, 1:08 PM IST
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New Delhi: As the Vice President of Paytm and corporate communication face of the brand, Sonia Dhawan, spends her first night in jail, more than one version is coming up about what exactly lead to the arrest.

While the police is steadfast on the ransom call angle, Sonia’s lawyer Prashant Tripathi raised some key questions regarding the case on Tuesday.

Prashant alleged even Sonia was a victim of a ransom call. Her husband Rupak Jain, also arrested in the case, filed a complaint with the sector 49 police station on September 22.

The complaint says he had received a call, where the caller had asked for a substantial amount of money and threatened to kill him and his son if he failed to pay up. The lawyer alleged that the cops sat on this complaint for days and did not even check the number from where the call was made.

But what led to such a drastic change in relationship between Dhawan and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma?

Most journalists who have covered the start-up industry say it was almost impossible to bypass Sonia, if one had to interact with Vijay Shekhar. She had spent 10 years at the company and risen from the post of her personal secretary to the VP.

Tripathi suggests this could be related to the recent share repurchase plan of the promoters of the company. He claims Sonia refused to part with her share of the money and that could have led to this standoff.

The cops continue to maintain that Sonia masterminded the operation which involved three others, including her husband, to extort over Rs 20 crore from Sharma.

Some of those in the know of things inside the company also alleged about certain photographs which were used to by her to blackmail the Paytm founder.

But her lawyer asked the court why a shareholding employee who was promoted as the Vice President only a month ago and was given rather handsome bonus would indulge in anything like this.

While not denying that there were small tiffs with the Paytm founder, Tripathi maintained that those were not something for which she would damage the reputation of a company for which she gave her blood and sweat.

Three people, including Sonia and another Paytm employee, were arrested by Noida police on Monday for allegedly trying to extort Rs 20 crore from the e-wallet giant's founder after threatening to leak stolen personal data and confidential information.

All three have now been sent to jail after the court refused to grant bail to the accused.

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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