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Kannada anchor Divya Vasantha arrested by Bengaluru police in Indiranagar spa extortion case

Bengaluru police have apprehended Kannada anchor Divya Vasantha and others in an extortion case involving the Tree Spa in Indiranagar. The group allegedly demanded money from the spa manager, using threats and false accusations. The case unfolded after a series of coercive attempts, prompting legal action and arrests.

Kannada anchor Divya Vasantha arrested by Bengaluru police in Indiranagar spa extortion case vkp
First Published Jul 11, 2024, 12:27 PM IST

Bengaluru police have made a significant breakthrough in the ongoing investigation of an extortion case involving the Tree Spa and beauty owner in Indiranagar. Kannada anchor Divya Vasantha, along with several accomplices, has been apprehended in connection with the alleged threats and extortion attempts targeting the manager of the spa near Michal Palya.

The incident came to light when the Indiranagar Thane Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against individuals including Raj News executive Rajanukunte Venkatesh, allegedly involved in demanding ₹15 lakhs from the spa manager. Vasantha, who was reportedly evading authorities in Kerala following prior arrests in Tamil Nadu, was brought back for questioning after being on the run.

Indiranagar spa extortion case: Anchor Divya Vasanth absconds after scamming 100 people; FIR filed, 2 arrested

According to police sources, Venkatesh and Vasantha had orchestrated their activities through a WhatsApp group named 'Sci Research Team', using it to coordinate their extortion schemes. The group discussions revealed a pattern of planning and executing demands for monetary payments under threats.

In response to the accusations, Raj News Managing Director clarified that Venkatesh, previously associated with their organization on an outsourced basis in the marketing department, falsely claimed a CEO position and engaged in unlawful activities. The channel has disassociated itself from the accused and plans to pursue legal actions against those misusing its name.

Who is Divya Vasanth? Kannada anchor accused of extortion in Bengaluru

What was the case?

According to the complaint filed by Sivashankar, the manager of Tree Spa & Beauty, the ordeal began on June 27 when a woman and two men claiming to be from Raj News visited the massage parlour. They wielded a microphone labelled with the channel's name and purportedly spoke with someone claiming to be the CEO of Raj News over the phone. During this call, they accused the spa of illegal activities and showed a video allegedly depicting prostitution involving individuals who had visited the spa.

Sivashankar stated that the individuals demanded ₹15 lakhs to suppress the video, threatening to broadcast it otherwise. When he expressed his inability to pay such a sum, the demand was lowered in subsequent calls, ultimately settling at ₹8 lakhs. The extortion attempts continued with calls and WhatsApp messages pressuring him to pay the reduced amount. In response to these threats, Sivashankar filed a complaint with the police, naming Venkatesh and others involved in the alleged extortion. He emphasized that Tree Spa and Beauty operates legally under all necessary licenses and does not engage in any illicit activities.

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