THE YAVATMAL police arrested a 22-year-old youth, who allegedly cheated a 44-year-old Delhi based-doctor of over Rs 2 crore by posing as a woman.
“The youth, Anil Mankar, was posing as a woman residing in Mumbai on his Facebook and Instagram accounts and would identify himself as Ananya Singh Oberai. He had been talking to the doctor from Delhi on phone over the past few months after befriending him. His voice is girlish so nobody would suspect him,” said Yavatmal Superintendent of Police Dilip Bhujbal.
Mankhar, a class XII dropout, had created a Facebook and Instagram profile in the name of one ‘Ananya Singh’ nearly five years ago and updated the profiles regularly with photographs of models downloaded from the internet.
The complainant said that after getting in touch with the impersonator on social media, the latter told the victim that “she” belonged to a rich family and had businesses in Dubai. Last month, the impersonator told the victim that “her” sister was kidnapped and the culprits had demanded a ransom of Rs 2 crore.
Bhujbal said, “Mankar cooked up a story and told the doctor that he owns a hotel in Dubai but had landed in a problem as his sister had been kidnapped and he needed money to free her. Earlier, he had also purchased some gold ornaments from two shops in Yavatmal and had got the doctor to pay the bill from Delhi. After believing the kidnapping story, the doctor had come to Yavatmal on August 12 to hand over Rs 2 crore to Mankar, who had, as the girl in the social media profile, deputed himself to collect the money on Ananya’s behalf.”
The accused later again called up the victim and told him that “her” sister had been released. He then asked the victim to deposit Rs 7,20,000 into a bank account specified by him, police said.
After the doctor transferred the amount to a bank account on August 27, Mankhar subsequently closed all his social media accounts and switched off his phone, Bhujbal said.
“But later, the doctor got suspicious as the so-called Ananya went incommunicado. So, two days ago, he came to Yavatmal with a lawyer from Delhi and another from Nagpur and approached me. Our cyber cell men tracked the two phone numbers provided by the doctor and caught hold of Mankar from city. He later blurted out the truth. We have recovered about Rs 1.78 crore from his house as also the gold ornaments he had got the doctor to pay for,” Bhujbal said.
The SP said that Mankar had created the social media accounts about four years ago and had about 16,000 followers on Instagram and over 8,000 on Facebook.
“The accused had been maintaining the profile for the past few years, including regularly posting photographs of women. There were photographs and videos of a Korean model too that he had uploaded recently,” Bhujbal said.
Asked if he had duped some other people earlier, an officer said that the accused has claimed that he had cheated three more people from across the country in a similar manner. “We are verifying the claims,” the officer added.
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