"I have been getting calls from men saying perverted things."
An Indian man from Mumbai was arrested on May 17, 2019, for posting the details of a female neighbour in a sex advert.
Alpesh Parekh, aged 47, from Malad, uploaded a picture and personal details of a woman who lived in the same apartment block onto a classified site in which she seemed to be soliciting sex for money.
According to the woman, Parekh had a number of grudges against her which included her win over him in the society elections.
The 36-year-old woman, who works for a multinational company, approached the police after she became aware of an advert in her name which had appeared online on locanto.net.
The woman alleged that she received several explicit calls, messages and photos from unknown people requesting sex from her.
After the case was registered, officers from the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested the Indian man.
The woman explained her ordeal:
“The society elections took place on April 15, and since April 17, I have been getting calls from men saying perverted things.
“Being a working woman, I can’t decide to not pick calls from unknown numbers.
“Two days after first disconnecting and ignoring the callers, I interacted with one of them. I asked him where he got my details from.”
Following the conversation, the caller gave the woman the link to the ad. When the woman went on to the advert, she found her picture and her phone number.
She also noticed the phone number of another woman who lived in the same building as her.
The woman added: “The friend of mine whose number was put up on the website is in her 50s.
“Her husband is also a part of the current building committee and Alpesh had grudges against all due to this.”
It made the woman realise that the perpetrator would be someone who lived in the apartment block. They went to the police on April 21, 2019, and the advert was immediately removed.
“My friend also got some calls and messages of the same nature as I got. The words used by the people on those calls were truly traumatising.”
Local police were unable to trace the source of where the ad was posted, therefore the case was transferred to the Crime Branch.
DCP Akbar Pathan said: “In fact, the man who actually posted the ad made such smart use of the technology that we first suspected another person in the building. It took the team to put in a lot of efforts to even trace the IP address of the person.”
He added that it became simple when they identified the email address used to post the advert. Parekh was later arrested.
The woman explained that she was in her office when she was told that the Indian man had been arrested.
“I rushed to the police station. When I saw him, I asked why he did that since I hardly interacted with him. He has had some grudges against a few people in the building I am friends with.
“He said that me being friends with them and not him, and that my children refusing to play with his had already angered him.
“He got even more riled up when I won the society elections against him.”
Crime Branch senior inspector Chimaji Adhav said:
“We also seized the device which he used for performing this con job from him and were able to establish the activity by tracking his internet history.
“On being sure of his involvement, we booked him under section 509 of the IPC and relevant sections of IT Act.”