The sensational extortion racket involving a dozen top bureaucrats and eight former ministers of Madhya Pradesh and over 1,000 clips of sex chats, explicit videos and audios has left behind a money trail. Those running the operation, who have been in contact with powerful men in corridors of power in Madhya Pradesh for around a decade now, have earned large sums of money as commission through transfers and postings in the state, sources have told NDTV.
"At least four bank accounts and two lockers operated by two women operatives of the racket in Bhopal have been sealed to track the actual money trail. Also, details of all snazzy cars used by these women residing in posh townships of Bhopal are also being gathered," sources told NDTV.
Two of the women involved in the scandal - Sweta Vijay Jain and Barkha Soni Bhatnagar - who reportedly had key political contacts in both BJP and the Congress were at the forefront of all major business deals, sources said.
Known as the "honey-trap" scandal, the racket has targeted mainly politicians and bureaucrats and involved five women who used sex workers and young college girls, the police say. More than 200 mobile phone contacts uncovered in raids suggest the scam may not have been limited to Madhya Pradesh.
The five women were arrested on Wednesday. The police named them as Shweta Jain, 39, her 48-year-old namesake, Barkha Soni, 35, Arti Dayal, 34, and an 18-year-old college student. Arti Dayal's driver was also arrested. Barkha Soni is the wife of former Congress IT cell official Amit Soni.
The leader of the opposition Gopal Bhargava has demanded a CBI inquiry in this case. He also said that if the government wishes, we are ready to discuss this matter in any of the next assembly session. Home Minister Bala Bachchan reiterated that anyone who is guilty in the case will be punished.
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