June 16, 2021 7:30:12 pm
Officials from Mumbai Crime Branch’s cyber wing recently arrested a 47-year-old man, who allegedly duped a city-based businessman of Rs 32.69 lakh by promising him a lead role for his daughter in a movie.
The cyber police, in a press statement said the accused, since 2017, duped over 80 aspirants collectively worth over Rs 2 crore by promising them roles in TV advertisements, serials and films.
The cyber police said the accused, identified as Apurva Ashwin Dauda, alias Dr Rishi Shroff, is a resident of Anand Nagar in Ahmedabad, while complainant Mahesh Gupta, a businessman from Borivali, deals with spare parts of airplanes.
On the pretext of giving Gupta’s daughter the lead role in a movie, “Bachon ki Duniya”, the accused took Rs 32.69 lakh from him. An FIR was registered by Gupta earlier this year, and based on a tip-off, Dauda was arrested from Khalapur toll naka in Raigad on June 10.
The police seized Rs 32.58 lakh cash, nine mobile phones, including eight iPhones, 10 SIM cards, six passports and cheque books of 11 banks from him. The accused used various phone numbers and kept travelling through different states to avoid getting arrested, the police said.
Explaining his modus operandi, the officials said Dauda had created several fraudulent websites called Ellee Advertising, Ford Advertising, Zara Advertising, Zara kids, Zara World and Cosmopolitan Models. He collected data of potential clients from major malls in the city and sent them bulk messages, asking them to send their bio-data for auditions for films, TV serials and advertisements.
Taking advantage of the lockdown, Dauda refused to meet people and collected money from them on the false pretext of giving them work in the industry. Apart from this case, the accused has been booked in five more cases of cheating and theft registered between 2010 and 2016.
Dauda studied in HR College in Mumbai and completed his higher studies from a business school in Colorado, USA. He also did an acting course from Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute in Juhu.
Dauda made use of high-end cars from major companies like Mercedes, BMW and Porsche while meeting potential clients. The accused also started a company in Dubai. A probe is on to find out if he had duped people there as well.
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