A 43-year-old man has been arrested for duping job aspirants, company owners and political leaders by posing as a Member of Parliament, police said on Sunday.
Accused Praveen Kumar Singh of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh was arrested on May 28 from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi based on a tip-off.
Investigators said Singh was absconding for the last five years and kept changing his addresses and mobile phone numbers to avoid arrest.
Singh told police that he used to dress up in khadi to lure gullible persons whom he promised government jobs, lucrative business contracts and plum political posts.
“Once his victims were taken in by his promises, Praveen used to cheat them out of money with the help of his associates,” joint commissioner of police (crime branch) Ravindra Yadav said.
“Several local leaders of different political parties were on his payroll and their role is being probed,” the officer said.
Police have seized 77 blank letter pads of ‘Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha’, seven mobile phones, five debit and credit cards, 24 wrist watches of different brands and bio-data of 28 persons.
“He started a consultancy firm in 2007-08 in south Delhi’s R K Puram and cheated about 30 unemployed youth from Bokaro and Jharkhand to the tune of Rs 30 lakh on the pretext of providing them jobs in Steel Authority of India (SAIL) by posing as a nominated member of SAIL.
“He was booked in a case on April 9, 2012, but settled the matter with the complainants and secured bail. In 2014, he repeated the offence by cheating 10 other unemployed persons of Ballia of Rs 25 lakh on the pretext of providing jobs in Indian Railways,” the officer said.
Crime branch got the wind of Praveen after a complaint against him was lodged by a Ballia resident Harsh Dev Tiwari.
In his complaint ,Tiwari alleged that a railway clerk Raj Kumar posted at Mughal Sarai station had promised to get him a D Group job in the railways through his contact whom he claimed to be a “close relative” of a former railway minister, he said.
Raj Kumar allegedly accompanied Tiwari to a ‘meeting’ with Singh at Baroda house in New Delhi, where he paid Rs 2.5 lakh for the job in the railways.
Tiwari also alleged in his complaint that his 9 relatives also paid Rs 2.5 lakh each to the accused for jobs. They were allegedly given ‘medical examination letters’ of Railway Recruitment Board but when they reached Kolkata they found it to be fake.
Another complainant Riyazuddin, a resident of Maujpur, too alleged that he was cheated of Rs 8 lakh by Singh who promised jobs of TTE to him and his wife, police said.
In 2014, he had cheated 10 unemployed youth in Ballia to the tune of Rs 25 lakh on the pretext of getting them Group D jobs in the railways, police said.