Police said the woman, who was Sharma’s personal assistant, stole personal data and confidential information from Sharma’s laptop and threatened to leak the data and misuse the information to cause loss to the firm and dent its public image
New Delhi: Three employees, including a woman, were arrested on Monday for allegedly trying to extort Rs 20 crore from e-wallet giant Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma after threatening to leak his personal information
Police said the woman, who was Sharma’s personal assistant, stole personal data and confidential information from Sharma’s laptop and threatened to leak the data and misuse the information to cause loss to the firm and dent its public image.
The other two arrested included her husband, a property dealer - Rupak Jain, and Devendra Kumar, another employee of Paytm. The fourth accused is still absconding.
"The owner of Paytm had made a complaint with the police that their employees, a woman and her aides, had stolen some data from the company and were blackmailing. They were demanding Rs. 20 crore for not leaking it," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ajay Pal Sharma said.
"Taking immediate action on it, an FIR was registered and three persons, including the woman, arrested. They are being probed about the data and their modus operandi. Police will share the facts as they are unearthed," Sharma said.
Paytm was in news for getting additional muscles from the last round of funding of about $340 million from Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway.
In a statement released to the media, a Paytm spokesperson said, “Noida police has arrested three persons, including one woman employee of Paytm, in a case of extortion. The employee along with two other accomplices attempted to extort money from Vijay Shekhar Sharma on the pretext of leaking his personal data. We are standing by our colleagues till the police inquiry reaches its meaningful conclusion.” The police have registered a case.
Paytm founder’s brother Ajay Shekhar Sharma told Hindustan Times: “The women was working us for nearly 10 years. She had access to his files. She and her husband came up with the plan to steal private and financial information. They roped in a senior manager in the administration section of the company, Devendra Kumar, who then approached one of his acquaintances, Rohit Chomal, a resident of Kolkata, to blackmail us.”
He said only confidential data and private information of the owner, and no user data, was stolen.
He added: “We received the first call on September 20 around 11 am and I received one around 4 pm. The caller, Chomal, claimed to have access to the data and threatened to leak it if we don’t pay him ₹20 crore. After a few more calls, we transferred ₹2 lakh on October 15 to his bank account. The caller then asked us to keep another ₹10 crore ready. We asked him to at least tell us what kind of data he had. Chomal then told us how our woman employee, her husband, and Devendra had stolen the information and planned the whole thing,” Ajay said.
Sharma was not available for comments.
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Last Updated Oct 23, 2018, 11:08 AM IST