At least 50 corporate executives in India fell prey to a complex robbery and extortion scheme in which a group of six suspects used Grindr to lure victims.
The suspects would befriend the executives on the gay dating app, earning their trust before suggesting a meeting, and sending only the best-looking members of the group to personal encounters. The designated perpetrator would then suggest a long drive through an isolated area, before initiating intimacy. As soon as any sexual encounter began, the remaining suspects would pull up in another vehicle and rob the victims at gunpoint. They also beat the executives, photographed them in the nude, and later continued to use embarrassing images to blackmail them.
Due to stigma around homosexuality in India, the closeted victims didn’t report the crimes, and the scheme continued for three months. Finally, someone came forward, and police nabbed four of the six suspects by sending a decoy to meet one of them. The suspects confessed to victimizing about 150 people.
“Around 50 executives of top multinational companies in Delhi-NCR have been duped and robbed by them,” Police commissioner Muhammad Akil told the Hindustan Times. “The victims, fearing social stigma, are not ready to take legal action against the suspects and have refused to come forward and record their statements with the police. We have written to Grindr to get more details of the suspects and their accounts as two of the gang members are still absconding.”
The victim who came forward told the newspaper he downloaded Grindr a few weeks before the incident.
“I met this person online and talked to him for 11 days; he said he wanted to meet me,” the victim said. “As I live in Gurugram, I agreed and we met in Sector 29 parking. I insisted that we should have drinks and food in a restaurant but he suggested that we go for a long drive.
“After we drove around for 45 minutes, he initiated intimacy. He asked me to park the car on the side, but within minutes another car intercepted my car and they forced open the car door and assaulted and robbed me,” the victim said. “The man posing as my friend joined them and fled the spot.
The victim did not disclose the incident to anyone, and shortly thereafter one of the suspects called him demanding money.
“I transferred Rs 1 lakh to the given account number and switched off my mobile number and took a new connection. I could not sleep for many nights. I then shared my ordeal with my best friend who took me to the police. We met senior officials and got the case registered.” \