Man held for duping over 100 people of ₹2cr by offering fake roles in Bollywood
The crime branch of the cyber police has arrested a man accused of duping over 100 people of ₹2 crore under the pretext of casting their children to feature in Bollywood and ad-films.
The police have recovered ₹32.58 lakh from the man, one Apurva Ashwin Dauda alias Dr Rishi Shroff, 47, who has been allegedly duping people for the past four years.
Dauda was arrested on the complaint of one Mahesh Gupta, a Borivali resident. Dauda allegedly defrauded Gupta to the tune of ₹32.69 lakh.
Explaining his modus operandi, cyber police said that Dauda would send his associates to malls and they would collect data of affluent people on the pretext of contests, surveys, etc. He would also fraudulently obtain data of car owners, doctors, etc. from various internet sites. In this manner, he collected data of nearly 5 million people, said a cyber police officer.
Dauda also created websites of bogus modelling agencies. “He would send bulk SMSes or WhatsApp messages randomly to people with a message that those interested in working in television commercials or Bollywood, including children between 2-14 years, could send their details on the given number,” said an officer from the cyber police station.
Dauda allegedly tricked Gupta, who deposited ₹32.69 lakh in various bank accounts, under the pretext of giving a lead role to his daughter in a film ‘Bachhon Ki Duniya’.
Investigators said they found Dauda had graduated from a prominent college from south Mumbai and studied at a business school in Colorado, United States. He attended the acting school of Kishore Namit Kapoor and has worked in the advertisement industry for about 10 years, featuring in ad-films of many popular FMCG brands.
Police said Dauda wanted to make a film and needed ₹25 lakh to make its trailer. Hence he came up with the idea of arranging money by duping people under the pretext of offering them fake roles.
“To ensure his location is not traced, he would use virtual networks, multiple mobile phones and sim cards simultaneously. Eight iPhones and a smart phone have been seized from his possession,” a cyber police officer said.
After tracking his digital footprints, the cyber police nabbed him from Khalapur recently.
There are cases registered against him at Sakinaka, Amboli, Oshiwara, Dadar and N.M. Joshi Marg police stations, the police said.