Noida: Extortion bid on Paytm founder; personal secretary, two more arrested
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Noida: Extortion bid on Paytm founder; personal secretary, two more arrested

Arrested woman named Sonia Dhawan worked as personal secretary to Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma for the past 10 years. Police say she is the mastermind behind this extortion plan.

Noida: Extortion bid on Paytm founder; personal secretary, two more arrested From Left to Right (Sonia Dhawan, husband Rupak Jain and Devender Kumar)

Acting on a complaint, the Noida police on Monday arrested three employees, including a woman, for trying to allegedly extort Rs 20 crore from Paytm promoter, Vijay Shekhar Sharma. They allegedly threatened to leak personal data and confidential information if they were not paid the said amount.

The arrests were made based on a complaint given by Vijay himself, who said his brother got the first extortion call on September 20 by someone who identified himself as Rohit Chopal. Vijay’s brother, Ajay Sharma is the senior VP in the company. He was asked to pay for the data that Chopal had, which included personal information of Vijay and confidential information related to the company.

Speaking to City Spidey, Ajay Sharma said, “I received the first call on September 20 around 4 pm, when the man demanded Rs 10 crore for the information. When I refused to pay, he called Vijay.”

Chopal made the same demand for Rs 10 crore to Vijay, increasing it up to Rs 20 crore in the next few calls. After several interactions, Chopal settled for Rs 2 lakh to be transferred initially. “We made the offer for Rs 2 lakh as we wanted to get more information from the man making the demands,” explained Ajay.

 “After the transaction was made, we requested Chopal to tell us how he stole the data but he wanted more money. We convinced him that after he tells us the source of the data, we will transfer more money. That is when he told us that Sonia, her husband Rupak Jain and Devender Kumar had stolen the data from the company and handed it over to him. They had hired Chopal to make the extortion call,” revealed Ajay.

SSP Gautam Budh Nagar, Ajaypal Sharma said the three arrested – Sonia Dhawan, her husband and Devender Kumar – had admitted to their involvement after interrogation. Fourth accused Rohit Chopal, who made the extortion call, is absconding, said Noida police. According to the SSP, Dhawan was the mastermind behind the extortion plan.

“Both Vijay and his brother Ajay Sharma submitted the recording of the extortion calls and the complaint with a profile of those involved. We will make more arrests on further investigation of the complaint,” SSP added.

Caller Rohit Chopal apparently is from Kolkata. “We are communicating with the local police for help,” SSP Sharma concluded.

Sonia Dhawan, who lives in Prateek Laurel in Sector 120, worked as personal secretary to Vijay Sharma for the last 10 years while her husband is a property dealer. Devender Kumar was working in the administration department of Paytm for the last 7 years.