MUMBAI: Two college students, one from Gujarat and the other from Telangana, were arrested on Saturday for sending six separate threat mails to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. The case appears to be one of mischief by both students, police said.
Police claimed Rajveer Khant (21) from Gujarat, who is the prime accused, sent five mails using a virtual private network (VPN) from the email id between October 27 and November 1.Khant initially demanded Rs 20 crore and later increased the demand to Rs 400 crore when the industrialist did not respond to his mails. The other student has been identified as Ganesh R Vanpardhi (19) from Telangana who, after reading reports of threat mails in the media, sent one mail – the sixth threat mail in this case – from his email id, police said. He demanded Rs 500 crore. Vanpardhi was produced before court and sent to police custody till November 8.
While Khant was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch, Vanpardhi was held by the Gamdevi police.
The crime branch has seized Khant’s desktop and two mobile phones he used in the crime. “Khant believed he would not be caught and tried to challenge the investigating agencies. He had gone through the dark web to get information and searched at least 650 websites for almost a week before creating the ID in the name of ‘Shadab Khan’ that was used,” a police officer said.
Police said Khant is an internet buff. He was tracked with the help of digital footprints he had left without his knowledge. “He had used proton mail (end-to-end encrypted email service and Mailfence (secured and encrypted email service) to send the threats. Khant used a virtual private network (VPN) which showed the IP address in Belgium,” an officer said.
Joint CP (crime) Lakhmi Gautam said, “The Mumbai crime branch team assisted by handpicked officers from the 3 cyber police units and central intelligence unit probed VPN details of the mail and tracked Khant. He was picked up from his home early Saturday and brought to Mumbai.” A crime branch officer said, “We found him surfing the internet at 3 am when he was held. The teenager arrested by Gamdevi police is not the prime accused,” said a crime branch officer.
The case was registered by Gamdevi police on October 27 based on a complaint by Ambani’s security in-charge Devendra Munsiram. The accused have been booked for extortion and criminal intimidation.

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