Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two Man Arrested For Blackmailing, Cheating ISKCON Bangalore- News From NewsPapers

Two fraudsters held for blackmailing Iskcon

BANGALORE: With the ample knowledge he had about computers and electronic items, Balaji Subhash, 26, could have been a brilliant software engineer. Instead, he chose to blackmail a few office-bearers of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) by tampering some video footages and demanding money. Iskcon officials filed a police complaint.
Balaji and his associate Naveen Subramani alias Subramani, 20, have been arrested on Sunday. Now, they are cooling their heels in jail.
Police have recovered Rs 3 lakh, spy cameras, laptop, pendrive and a bluetooth from the duo.Both are residents of NTI Layout, Vidyaranyapura, and working for private companies.

What happened?

According to Iskcon officials' complaint to Subramanya Nagar police, Balaji visited the temple a few months back and met an official handling the `Akshaya Patra' scheme, which distributes free food among schoolchildren and others.
Balaji is said to have produced some photos, in which he was seen shaking hands with corporate giants and business tycoons. "Balaji had tampered the photos with the help of a computer so well that Iskcon officials believed him," police said.
According to police, Balaji said: "I can bring huge donations to your trust. But you should give me a commission of 20%.'' But Iskcon officials told him that they were not entitled to give commission. "He appeared again after sometime and introduced a friend Naveen Subramani saying the latter would contribute Rs 1 crore for the Akshaya Patra fund," police said.
Later, a cheque for Rs 1 crore was handed over to Iskcon. But the cheque bounced. Meanwhile, Balaji presented some DVDs to the same officials which showed alleged conversations made," police said. "Balaji had tampered with the voice recordings. One Iskcon official was shown as if he had agreed to give the commission,'' police said.
"Balaji threatened to release the DVD to the media and succeeded in getting Rs 3 lakh. Encouraged by his success, he demanded Rs 25 lakh more," police said.


Kodandarama Das who filed the police complaint told TOI: "The money was paid to Balaji on April 2. On that day, he came to the temple and insisted that he meet the temple president. I told him the president was busy. He started playing an audio which had converstations allegedly about Iskcon and money laundering.
"He demanded Rs 10 lakh. I called one of the donors who advised me to trap him. The donor arranged for the money and we paid Rs 3 lakh to Balaji who immediately deleted the audio taping.
"We met intelligence officer Dayanand who advised us to watch Balaji's movements. Once again, Balaji began blackmailing me for the remaining Rs 7 lakh. That's when I decided to file a police complaint.''


Investigation revealed that Balaji, with the help of hidden spy cameras, recorded his earlier meetings and tampered the footages, including the voices 

Man arrested for blackmailing, cheating ISKCON
BANGALORE: A lobbyist (power broker), Balaji Subhash alias Balaji MS (26), whose name figures in several land deals in the state, was arrested by the Subrahmanyangar police.He was arrested on the grounds of cheating and blackmailing an administrative officer at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Balaji, a resident of NTI Layout in Vidyaranyapura, and his associate Naveen Subramani (20) of Vidyaranyapura were arrested.Police said Balaji allegedly had already extracted Rs 3 lakh cash from the administrative officer of the temple by threatening him to expose the alleged shady deals of the temple trust.Balaji, claiming to have top level contacts in the corporate sector, bureaucracy and politicians, approached temple priest Ratan Das to clinch a deal.Balaji offered to get donors for the ISKCON's prestigious Akshaya Patra project. He was turned away when he demanded 20 per cent commission on every donation. The temple management reportedly told him that they were not into commission business.On February 22, he approached the management with a person called Bharat Reddy who allegedly donated Rs 1 crore.In the name of Naveen Subramani, the two gave a fake cheque for Rs 1 crore as donation towards Akshay Patra project. The fraud came to light when the cheque was presented to Karnataka Bank's Vidyaranyapura branch for encashment and it was rejected.On March 1, the administration received a parcel from Subhash containing a DVD with a recorded conversation between Balaji and the administrative officer Kodanda Ram Das and a press-note-draft."The DVD contains reconstructed conversation to tarnish the image of the ISKCON," said complainant Kodandaram Das.Soon, Balaji began to make extortion calls to Kodandaram Das threatening to leak the DVD to the media if they did not meet his demand.Balaji managed to extract `3 lakh from him on March 3. But when he demanded more money through phone calls, SMS and emails, the authorities decided to file a complaint.Based on a complaint, the Subramanyanagar police raided Balaji's house and arrested him along with his associate Naveen Subramani on Sunday.Police have recovered Rs 3 lakh cash, cameras, electronic gadgets, laptop, pen drives, two mobile phones used for recording the conversation, said the Subrahmanyanagar police who are investigating the case.

Two arrested for cheating and blackmailing Iskcon authorities in Bangalore

The Subramanyanagar police arrested two men for cheating and blackmailing Iskcon authorities on Sunday.
The arrested have been identified as Balaji Subash, 26, and Naveen Subramani alias Subramani, 20, both residents of Vidyaranyapura. The police have seized Rs3 lakh, hidden cameras, a laptop, a pendrive and two cellphones from them.
Subash had approached Rathan Das, an authority of Akshaya Patra Foundation, two months ago. He apparently told Das that he could arrange for food for the foundation for a 20% commission. Das, however, declined saying the foundation had no policy of paying commission.
Subash went back, but came again on February 22 along with his friend Bharath Reddy. He told the foundation authorities that Reddy was interested in donating Rs1 crore to the foundation. The duo handed over a cheque of Rs1 crore of Karnataka Bank, Vidyaranyapura, dated March 7. The foundation authorities reportedly agreed to pay commission to Subash for the Rs1-crore donation he had arranged for.
On March 1, Subash wrote to the Akshaya Patra authorities and claimed to have some defaming information on the foundation. He also sent a DVD and claimed to be in possession of some of the documents that could defame the foundation. He threatened to release those to the media and started blackmailing them.
Subash had captured visuals of his conversation with the foundation authorities from a hidden camera. At some places, he recorded his own voice as that of the authorities and blackmailed them with the video clips, the police said.
In the meantime, the cheque provided to Akshaya Patra bounced. Kodandarama Das, an official of the foundation had paid Rs3 lakh to Subash on March 3. However, Subash continued demanding more money. Das then filed a complaint with police.

Two held as ISKCON cries blackmail


The city police arrested two men on the charge of blackmailing ISKCON temple authorities here recently. The two had reportedly collected Rs. 3 lakh from the temple authorities after threatening to expose what they alleged was a hawala racket being operated by the temple authorities.
Kodandarama Dasa, Administrative Officer of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, is understood to have told the police that he paid Rs. 3 lakh to the two.
The police have seized the cash, spy cameras, a laptop, a pen drive, two cellphones, a passport and electronic gadgets from the two named as Balaji Subhash (26) and Naveen Subramani (20), both residents of NTI Layout near Vidyaranyapura. They are from Madikeri.
“Mr. Kodandarama Dasa lodged a complaint with us on April 17,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Malleswaram Sub-Division) G.T. Ajjappa told The Hindu.
Mr. Ajjappa added that the police will also question Mr. Kodandarama Dasa and other officials of the Akshaya Patra Foundation why they paid Rs. 3 lakh to the accused.
“The suspects told us that they had got wind of a hawala racket allegedly being run by ISKCON authorities.
They said that they had videographed some activities at the temple and recorded conversations with the authorities which they used to blackmail them. Mr. Kodandarama Dasa has denied the hawala allegations saying that the two have faked the recordings to [besmirch] ISKCON.
He said that he paid them to save ISKCON's image,” the police said.
Mr. Kodandarama Dasa has in his complaint said: “Balaji Subhash was a regular visitor to ISKCON and he became friendly with Acharya Ratan Dasa of the temple, promising him hefty donations from big corporate entities. Balaji asked for 20 per cent commission for each donation. But as there is no provision to give such commission, Acharya Ratan Dasa refused the deal.”
Balaji again visited the temple on February 22 with Bharath Reddy.
After introducing Reddy to the temple authorities, he presented them with a Karnataka Bank cheque for Rs. 1 crore signed by Naveen Subramani. When the temple authorities deposited the cheque, which had forged signature, it bounced, he said.
“Balaji, on March 1, sent a parcel containing a DVD, a letter and other documents to the temple. In his letter, he demanded money from the temple and threatened to approach the media if he was not paid. Two days later, he collected Rs. 3 lakh from me,” Mr. Kodandarama Dasa stated in his complaint.
However, even after collecting Rs. 3 lakh, he started demanding more money by threatening the temple authorities through email and SMS. Mr. Ajjappa said that the cellphone recordings would be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory.
ISKCON response
“ISKCON is not operating the alleged racket. It is a part of an ongoing conspiracy against us,” Sripathi Dasa, ISKCON spokesperson, told The Hindu

 Ousted for demanding commission on donations, the duo fabricate DVD accusing temple staffer of illegitimate deals and extract Rs 3 lakh
M S Balaji alias Balaji Subhash, a controversial lobbyist and pawnbroker whose name has cropped up in several land deals in the state, was arrested by the city police for cheating and blackmailing an administrative officer of ISKCON temple.
He had already extracted Rs 3 lakh from D A Kodandaram by threatening him to expose him for allegedly conducting illegitimate deals through the temple trust.

Crafty approach
Claiming to have powerful contacts in the corporate world, Balaji approached temple priest, Ratan Das to clinch a deal. He offered to get donors for ISKCON prestigious Akshaya Patra project (which carries out the mid-day meal scheme of the government of India).
He, however, was driven away because he demanded 20 per cent as commission for every donation he got from his corporate contacts.
In February, he again met the temple management with Bharat Reddy claiming to be a reputed businessman and expressed his willingness to donate of Rs 1 crore.
The duo handed over a cheque for the project in the name of Naveen Subramanya. Later, it was discovered that the cheque was fake.

Threats continue
In March the administration received a parcel from Balaji containing a DVD with a recorded conversation between Balaji and Kodandaram. Balaji managed to extract Rs 3 lakh from him by threatening to leak to DVD to the media.
As demands for more money continued through phone calls, SMS and emails, the authorities decided to file a complaint.
Kodandaram, who filed a complaint said, "The conversation on the DVD has been fabricated with malicious intent to tarnish the image of ISKCON."
Based on the complaint, the Subramanya Nagar police raided the house of the accused and arrested him, along with his associate Naveen Sheshadri.
"We have recovered Rs 3 lakh, hidden cameras, laptop,  and two mobile phones from him, which he used to record the conversation clandestinely with intent to blackmail," said Police Inspector S Sridhar.

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