Two men allegedly used the Tango chat app to blackmail, abduct and rape a Canberra woman. Photo: Gillianne Tedder
POLICE are warning mobile phone users to take care with social networking apps after two men allegedly used the Tango chat app to blackmail, abduct and rape a Canberra woman.
Detective Senior Constable Peter Maguire told the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday morning that the woman accepted a friend request on September 25 from a man who purported to be 24 years old through the mobile application.
Ajit Pal Singh, 31, was charged with abduction, unlawful confinement, an act of indecency and three counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
Co-defendant Randhir Singh, 20, was charged with abduction, two acts of indecency without consent, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and unlawfully detaining the woman.
Detective Senior Constable Maguire said police were still investigating who wrote the messages but suspect they became sexual in nature after the woman agreed to meet the man at Kippax Fair shopping centre on September 26.
When the woman arrived at Kippax at 12.15pm she saw three Indian men in a car but did not go to greet them.
One of the men, Randhir Singh, allegedly got out of the car and approached the woman inside the shopping centre.
When she refused to go with him he allegedly told the woman he knew she was married and would show the messages to her husband.
He is also alleged to have correctly identified the high school her child attended and made a threat about the child's safety and welfare.
On the drive from Kippax to Belconnen she was allegedly sexually assaulted. The court heard she was then driven to the Altitude Apartments on Chandler Street in Belconnen where she was taken into a unit and allegedly sexually assaulted individually by one defendant and then the other.
The first encounter was photographed and these photographs were allegedly used to coerce the woman to perform further sexual acts with the second man. It was alleged Ajit Pal Singh told the woman if she did not comply the photographs would be shown to her husband.
Detective Senior Constable Maguire said CCTV footage from Kippax Fair shopping centre corroborated the woman's story.
He said police were still attempting to locate the third man.
During a search of Ajit Pal Singh's unit in the Altitude Apartments on October 11 police located and seized several mobile telephones and bedding.
Detective Senior Constable Maguire said forensic investigations were continuing.
The prosecution opposed bail but the two men's lawyers sought their clients' release.
Magistrate Bernadette Boss said no conditions would alleviate police concerns about the pair fleeing the country or potentially interfering with or harassing witnesses.
Dr Boss ordered Ajit Pal Singh and Randhir Singh remain in custody at the Alexander Maconochie Centre until their next court appearance on October 22. They are expected to reapply for bail.
Randhir Singh was supported in court by his sister and brother-in-law.
Ajit Pal Singh's Australian wife was not in court. The couple married three months ago and, in applying for bail, Ajit Pal Singh's lawyer told the court his wife had bowel cancer and he was her carer.