Kolhapur resident held for duping around 90 aspiring models, photographers | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Kolhapur resident held for duping around 90 aspiring models, photographers

Cases have been registered against Wharambe in places like Navi Mumbai, Vashi, Ratnagiri and Panaji

pune Updated: Oct 24, 2017 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune

Pune Pune police crime branch Unit 1 on Monday arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly duping many photographers and aspiring female models over the past few years. The man, identified as Sandeep Mahadev Wharambe alias Sandy Patil, is a resident of Haldi region of Kolhapur, the police said.

The accused used to lure aspiring models into getting their portfolio photo shoot in order to audition for advertisements and films. Wharambe tracked down photographers through Justdial, a virtual directory, while he kept track of women who wanted a career in modelling, according to police officials.

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    Crime branch Unit 1 senior police inspector Nitin Bhosale Patil, who was tipped off about Patil's activities, tracked him down with the help of members of the film-makers’ association, Chitrapat Mahamandal.

    “An architect by profession, he took to photography after college. Due to shortage of money, he roped in another person and the duo started duping people. He used to get the portfolio shoots done and take money from models and has duped at least 90 photographers and models so far. He charged ₹30,000-40,000 from every model. He kept the contacts of casting agencies with himself,” said Sudhir Hiremath, deputy commissioner of police, cyber crime and economic offence wing.

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      Wharambe was on the run as cases have been registered against him in various places, including Navi Mumbai, Vashi, Ratnagiri and Panjim. He had been evading arrest from Maharashtra and Goa police since 2014, the police said. Wharambe’s acts came to light after a Dhayari-based photographer, Utkarsh Pramod Kelkar, approached the police for being duped by him once in 2015 and again in October 2017.

      Wharambe’s wife had filed for divorce in 2013 stating he develops proximity with various women on the pretext of photo shoot, the police statement regarding his arrest claimed.

      The police have asked the women who have been duped by Wharambe to come forward and lodge complaint.

      First Published: Oct 24, 2017 17:03 IST