A 35-year-old conman, who allegedly posed as an additional private secretary of a minister and demanded ‘speed money’ from MLAs of northeast states to expedite requests for central grants, was arrested along with his associate by the Crime Branch.
Sanjay Tiwari, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase-I who originally hails from Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, had called two MLAs and promised them assistance in fast-tracking their request for central grants from the ministry concerned in April, said Sanjay Kumar Jain, DCP (crime).
“The MLAs, however, got suspicious of Tiwari’s conduct and made enquiries about his claims. When they contacted the additional PS to a minister, they realised that Tiwari was trying to con them. A formal complaint was made and Tiwari was arrested on Tuesday,” Jain said.
According to the police, initial investigation revealed that Tiwari, who had previously been arrested as many as seven times on charges of impersonation, cheating and extortion by various police stations in Delhi, was up to his old tricks again.
Tiwari had mastered the intricacies of government work and the processes required to expedite the lengthy process of obtaining grants. Along with his associate, Rattan Deep Gupta, 29, he ran two newsportals: www.tiranganews.com and UjalaNews.
“In 2007, Tiwari and his associate had impersonated the personal secretary and the staff of a union minister while approaching two MPs to demand money in return for releasing funds,” said Jain.
In the same year, Tiwari was arrested for carrying a hidden camera in a diary, with which he had intended to conduct a ‘sting operation’ to extort money through blackmail.
“Tiwari and Gupta had posed as reporters of a reputed news channel to extort money from the manager of a gas agency at Vikas Marg in 2005,” Jain said.