A controversial businessman and the owner of a tabloid in Madhya Pradesh, wanted for the past seven months in over 40 cases, including rape and human trafficking, was arrested from neighbouring Gujarat on Sunday, the police said.
Jeetu Soni, who had a bounty of Rs 1.6 lakh in his name and cases including those of land grabbing, blackmailing, rape, extortion and fraud, was arrested from his native Amreli district of Gujarat, a senior police officer said.
Soni was an influential businessman who enjoyed political patronage from both the Congress and the BJP in the state and had considerable clout with senior police officers.
However, he had found himself without any political favours after his tabloid ran racy articles centred around a sex scandal that was busted in in September last year that involved senior advisors of Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his previous term as the chief minister which had jolted the political, bureaucratic and police circles of the state.
When the Congress government was in power in the state last year, a dance bar, two bungalows, a hotel and restaurant among other properties owned by Soni were also was raided by police and three of his properties were demolished.
Five women and a man were arrested in the racket for allegedly blackmailing several influential people using the sex tapes.
Earlier, the state police had seized more than 4,000 files from the laptops and mobile phones of the accused arrested in the case.
According to sources, the audio recordings, video clips, and screenshots of chats were used to allegedly blackmail bureaucrats, politicians, and businessmen in the state.