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The gang of impostors, arrested for allegedly threatening and trying to extort money from actor Shamna Kasim, had planned to kidnap her and demand a huge ransom, revealed Kochi City Police Commissioner Vijay Sakhare.

Eight of the 12 members of the gang, which hatched the conspiracy and tried to execute their plan, have been arrested, while the other four are absconding, he said.

“The imposters, who established contact with Shamna Kasim and her family in the pretense of a marriage proposal for her, had made a plan to kidnap the actor, hold her hostage in a hotel room and demand a huge ransom. However, it did not materialise,” he said.

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The Commissioner also told the media that the gang had asked Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 from Shamna but she refused to give the money. “When this attempt failed, they planned to kidnap her,” the police commissioner said.

The arrested gang members are also accused of holding eight women, who worked as models, captive in Palakkad in March and extorting money from them.

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Their success prompted them to go in for a bigger operation and try to extort money from an actor like Shamna, the police said.

Police have registered seven cases against the gang on the basis of separate complaints filed by Shamna and other models.

They said the gang managed to collect details of the actor from those in the film industry after convincing them that they planned to produce movies.

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Widening the probe to the Malayalam film industry, police had summoned and taken the statements of popular actor Dharmajan Bolgatty, whom some of the arrested gang members had allegedly contacted during the lockdown.

Police, however, clarified that the film personalities do not have any role in this particular case.