Odisha blackmailing case: Archana Nag to be released from prison after 14 months
Nag, found to be in possession of several branded cars, expensive two-wheelers, a farmhouse and a horse, was accused of amassing ₹30 crore through sextortion
Archana Nag, a woman blackmailer who was arrested 14 months ago in a honey-trapping case following an FIR by a Dubai-based banker-turned-filmmaker, is likely to walk out of jail on Wednesday after the Orissa high court on Monday granted her bail in a case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.
Nag, 27, was arrested in October last year along with her husband Jagabandhu Chand after a woman named Shraddhanjali Behera accused the couple of taking her obscene photos and using it to force her into honey-trapping politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats. Later, the ED arrested her under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Nag, found to be in possession of several branded cars including Audi, Ford Endeavour, expensive two-wheelers, a farmhouse and a horse, was accused of amassing ₹30 crore through sextortion in just two years.
Though Nag was granted bail by Orissa HC in two cases lodged against her in two different police stations of Bhubaneswar, she continued to be in jail in the ED case.
During the last five years, Nag and her husband hit upon the idea of luring the rich and famous into their trap using WhatsApp video calls and other social media sites. “She and her husband Jagabandhu would first develop friendship with the victims by posing as a happy couple on Facebook. Jagabandhu would shortlist the victims first after which Nag chatted with them to collect their personal details and invite them to her house. She would then get intimate with them and record videos through secret cameras and later blackmail the victims, many of whom were rich and famous,” said a senior police official.
On social media, the couple posted photographs posing with Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ministers, senior leaders as well as bureaucrats. Archana’s husband identified himself as a BJD worker on his Facebook page.
According to ED officials, apart from extorting people, Nag and her husband also laundered black money of influential people including some politicians and businessmen. The agency has told the SIT on Black Money, headed by former Supreme Court judge Arijit Pasayat, that it has so far traced properties worth ₹10 crore in Nag’s name.