Extortion cases rise in Indian American community, FBI asks for active reporting

Ritu Jha-

With the rise of extortion cases among the Indian community, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento Field Office on Tuesday, May 7, urged the community to report crimes to ensure the individuals committing these crimes face justice.

According to the press release the field office is tracking several instances throughout its 34-county area of responsibility in which people were targeted for extortion and threatened with violence. These criminal acts are believed to be underreported. The FBI and its law enforcement partners have urged the public to report these crimes.

“We are deeply concerned for the safety and economic security of our neighbors of Indian descent who have been targeted,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Remily, who leads the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “Criminals are targeting hard working, law-abiding business owners and are using thug tactics to extort them in clear violation of the law. Timely reporting of attempted extortion to the authorities will help law enforcement to identify and disrupt this criminal scheme, ensuring the safety and economic security of the community.”

In recent extortion attempts, subjects demanded a large sum of money and threatened physical violence or death if the demand was not met. Individuals who disregarded the demands subsequently became victims of violence, including targeted shootings at their residences and vehicles.

The FBI has not mentioned who are these extortion gangs; whether they are US-based or international. The FBI did not respond to phone and email sent by indica, however, community leaders based in central California told indica, and confirmed they are aware of a few cases. The victims cannot talk to the media. Other community leaders alleged these gangs have international connections and both US and India’s high-ranking law enforcement officers are working and had meetings recently in the US.

The FBI has urged anyone who believes they are in immediate danger should call 911. Threats of violence intended to extort victims for a specified sum can be reported to the FBI by calling the local field office, submitting a tip online at tips.fbi.gov, or calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). The FBI can connect callers with language services to ensure clear communication for callers.

Bobbie Singh-Allen, mayor of Elk Grove told indica that it was brought to her attention this morning. Nobody has reached for help or concern, but said, “Yes, this is very disturbing and alarming.”

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