The Noida Police had on October 22 arrested three persons, including two Paytm employees, for allegedly blackmailing and making extortion bid on the e-wallet giant’s founder Vijay Shekar Sharma.
Paytm CEO’s secretary Sonia Dhawan (32), her husband Roopak Jain (38) and another company employee Devendra Kumar (30) were arrested for allegedly stealing personal information and confidential data and threatening to leak it.
The trio faces charges of attempting to extort Rs 20 crore from the Paytm founder by threatening to leak personal data.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of India’s largest e-wallet company, was allegedly blackmailed by his long-time personal secretary Sonia Dhawan.
In her ten-year stint with Paytm, Dhawan started off as secretary and went on to head the corporate communications of the company.
The ‘extortion’ plan
Sonia Dhawan, the alleged mastermind, reportedly hatched a plan to extort Rs 20 crore from the Paytm boss by threatening to leak his stolen personal data.
Officials said Dhawan hatched the plan as her husband Roopak Jain was jobless and had suffered major losses in real estate business.
It all started on September 20 when Ajay Shekhar Sharma, brother of Vijay, received a call from a Thailand number. The person claimed that he had Vijay’s personal data and demanded Rs 20 crore for not leaking it.
Rohit Chomal, the fourth accused who is absconding, had allegedly made the extortion call.
Sonia controlled the extortion calls while convincing her boss to pay up.
According to the police, when the first extortion call was made, the amount was decided to be Rs 30 crore which came down to Rs 19 crore after multiple rounds of negotiations.
The accused had even got Rs 2.67 lakh as initial instalments by Sharma, who then approached police and got an FIR registered on Sunday.
Police Tuesday carried out searches at the residences of the three arrested and recovered a pen drive containing crucial information and call records along with a hard disk which has some personal and confidential data of the company, according to officials.
The police have also seized from Dhawan’s Noida residence printouts of WhatsApp chats that were made between the accused and the Sharma brothers besides four mobile phones used in the crime.